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What to Know Before Your Home Inspection: Buyers


If you are here, you are probably jumping up in excitement because your offer just got accepted! Congrats! Now, you are now transitioning into a new phase in your home-buying journey. This is where the “contingencies” are taken care of. That is if you and your agent agreed to write those contingencies in the offer. I’d like to share with you what to expect when your home inspection takes place.

The first item you take care of after your offer is accepted is the home inspection. Your agent will order this as soon as possible. This is to ensure there is enough time if there need to be any remedies and if so to come to a formal agreement. You will pick which home inspectors to go with & plan to pay the cost which can range from $400-$600. If you are financing through a VA loan, you do not pay for the pest inspection part. On newer constructed homes, it is not too necessary to conduct a home inspection. Your concern at this moment would be to be aware of any issues that weren’t apparent when you viewed the home in prior showings. The inspector will take a look at the mechanical systems, termite, radon, water and septic systems, structural systems, and required repairs.

A magnifying glass hovering over the words Inspection, centering on a house with the word Home inside it

You might also be wondering, “What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? That is a good question. An appraisal is ordered because it is required by the lender. A qualified appraiser determines the value of the home by researching comparisons and the condition of the home. They also need to make sure the home is meeting FHA minimum property standards. Finally, they need to evaluate if the home is compatible with the market, making it “marketable”. Not only do the appraisers determine the value based on the actual home, but they also take into consideration the amenities nearby like street access, for example. As mentioned before, a home inspection is ordered so that a qualified home inspector takes a thorough look at the home to evaluate the physical condition, identify any issues that require attention, and estimate the life of certain appliances.

It is your right to be well informed of your potential new purchase. This includes the findings in the home inspection. As long as it was written in your offer, you have the right to examine the home and arrange an agreement between you and the seller to repair/replace items that were determined to be a health or safety issue. This is to be done by a specified timeline per your contract.

estate agent close a contract

You and your agent will discuss what time & date works best for you that way you can be present. It is not required for you to be there because you will receive a copy of the inspection report regardless. However, you must attend that way you can ask the inspector any questions you may have while they are conducting the inspection. The sellers will most likely not be there, if they are you will also be notified.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, here is a full list of what the qualified inspector will take a look at:

  • Home’s heating system
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Roof
  • Attic and visible insulation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Structural Components

Upon your request, they will test for pest and radon gas testing.

Family meeting real-estate agent for home purchase

Based on the findings, you and your agent will determine what is required to be done to meet the deadline and be on your way to close. Your agent will then make those requests. Keep in mind, that you would not ask for anything that is a “cosmetic issue”. Your experienced agent will advise you on what not to ask the sellers for a remedy. If there is any chipped paint, minor screen tear, tiny cracks in the driveway, etc. these are just a few examples of what wouldn’t make the sellers too happy.

Couple meeting consultant for financial contract

You will be able to come to a formal agreement on what should occur for you to move forward with the purchase. Remember, both parties have to do their due diligence to treat this negotiation seriously and take the sale to the closing table. Per the contract, you will be able to make a final inspection of the property. This is also referred to as the final walk-through, which usually takes place close to closing day. The real estate agent representing you & the buyers will verify that all the necessary repairs were completed, the property is still in good condition like when you first saw it, all fixtures are still there, and no alterations or removals that weren’t authorized have occurred. Essentially, just making sure the home looks like how everyone still imagined it. Exactly how it was when you decided to make an offer & now including the repairs that were needed.

I wanted to share some helpful insight into what goes on in the inspection contingency phase. Hopefully, you can walk away with some new information that can help guide you at your next home inspection. I would love to be the professional real estate agent walking you through this. Best of luck!