There are many hurdles in the home buying process, one of which can make any buyer nervous: the home inspection.
The good news is that a home inspection provides homeowners with the knowledge needed to feel confident in your purchase, while exposing opportunities for negotiation. To help you feel more comfortable when the time comes for your inspection, we’ve listed a few common questions and their answers below.
What does a home inspection cost?
The answer to this question is one that you’ll hear often in your real estate journey — it depends. Most home inspections average from $500-700, and may be dependent on the services offered or the size of the home. What matters more is the potential cost of not getting an inspection. Having a home inspection provides the opportunity for you to better understand the condition of the property, thereby allowing you to negotiate a fair price for the home. For that reason, we consider this money well spent.
Are all inspectors the same?
While many inspectors may offer similar services, the reality is similar to your Realtor — each is a bit different. When looking to hire an inspector, services and reputation matter, and we also suggest considering the human element. Your inspector will be walking you through important matters, and your ability to feel comfortable not only in their competence, but in how they communicate with you matters. When interviewing inspectors, we recommend inquiring about services and experience, but also considering personality fit as you have your discussion.
Will a home inspection uncover any and all defects with the home?
Simply put, inspectors can only inspect what they can see. During the home inspection, they can only inspect visible and accessible areas of the property. Therefore, if a fixture is blocking a feature that is commonly inspected, the inspector may not be able to move the fixture to access it. Further, there are features of some homes that may make it dangerous or impossible for an inspector to inspect every nook and cranny. For example, a steeply pitched roof may not be walkable, and the inspector may need to use a drone to visibly inspect the roof. Your inspector should talk you through areas that they are unable to inspect.
Can a home inspector help me understand how deficient items can be remedied?
As you’ll find in your inspection report, your inspector is tasked with finding anything and everything deficient with the home that they can inspect. Therefore, you are going to have a variety of items on your list to address, both big and small. A great inspector will provide context around specific issues — if it’s a simple fix, odds are they’ll be able to explain what is needed to remedy it. If the issue is more complex in nature, it’s best to have a specialist determine a remedy.
This is where it also helps to have a great Realtor. For our clients, we keep a detailed resource list of vendors that provide a variety of home services, so when an inspection calls for a specialist, we’ll have recommendations ready for you.
How should I prioritize which items on my inspection report need to be fixed?
Like every home, each inspection report will be different. Assuming you’re buying a pre-owned home, it’s also important to recognize that your inspection report is not a punch list of items that the seller needs to fix — it’s a list of items for you to negotiate based on. A great inspector will provide some direction on which items are more worrisome than others. Further, we like to prioritize what we refer to as the “big five.” This includes a home’s HVAC system, roof, foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems. These items will likely involve a specialist’s attention, and can be costly when left unremedied.
Once you have worked to identify the areas you’d like to further negotiate on, the estimates you’ll receive from specialists will allow your Realtor to submit a detailed repair request to the seller.
If you have any questions about the home inspection process, or any part of the home buying process, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Give us a call today at 214-267-9222 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.