You now have only a few days from when offer negotiations were completed, and you signed the purchase and sales agreement and are ready to have a home inspection. Depending on the outcome of the inspections, another negotiation process may be forthcoming.
Chances are your real estate agent made the offer contingent upon a satisfactorily home inspection, including wood destroying insects, and obtaining mortgage financing.
What Is A Home Inspection?
A home inspection “is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home.” This is usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.
The inspector prepares a written report, often using home inspection software, and delivers it to a client, typically the home buyer. The buyer typically pays for the inspection, and the seller typically pays for repairs, up to a repair cap that is usually documented on the purchase agreement, unless otherwise specified such as when the buyer is buying the property “as-is,” or the buyer has agreed to pay for certain repairs in order to bring the property up to their FHA or VA loan guidelines.
The buyer uses the knowledge gained from the home inspection to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase.
The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components”.
It is not the job of the home inspector to estimate market value or to let you know you got a good deal on the price of the home. This is done typically through an appraiser.
Why Have A Home Inspection?
Buying a home is the single most expensive investment many of us will ever make.
A home inspection is designed to provide the home buyer with the information they need to make a more informed decision about the property.
The home inspection report should clearly identify any potential significant defects, and give the home buyer a realistic estimate of the costs of repairs so that they can be negotiated in an updated purchase contract. An inspection should also highlight any areas or features that need to be addressed in the near future which may be reaching the end of their useful life span.
What Do Home Inspections Cost?
The home buyer generally has to pay for the inspection up front, but there may be an agreement in the purchase contract for the seller to reimburse those fees at the time of closing.
Home inspection fees vary from state to state. An estimated cost of a home inspection is around $250-$600, depending on what services have been selected, as well as where the house is located.
In addition to the general home inspection, there are many common services that home buyers also choose to have preformed when having a home inspection. These additional services are not typically included in the general home inspection fee.
Optional Home Inspection Services, not usually included in a general inspection:
Once the inspection is completed, the buyer generally has five to seven days to put in writing the “request for repairs” required by the seller to make prior to taking possession of the home.
The sellers may not be obligated to make every repair, so make sure you read the purchase and sales contract carefully to make sure the agreement does not state that the home may be sold in “as is” condition.
The Home Inspection Process:
A home inspection should include examination of all major systems, including the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems.
The home inspector will also look at the structural components, such as the roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows. If there are any roof issues, a roofer may be called in to make a formal inspection. Also, if there are structural issues, a structural engineer or a pier company may be called in for more inspections. The cost of these additional inspections are separate from the cost of the general inspection.
It is recommended that the home buyer and/or representing buyer’s agent be present at the time of the home inspection.
A typical home inspection can take between 1 ½ hours to 3 hours, depending on the size and condition of the home.
Buyers are paying for the home inspection and are usually present during the inspection. It is customary for the inspector to give a synopsis of his findings, and most have portable printers and print out a summary. It is okay for buyers to ask the inspector questions about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.