The home-buying process can be difficult and sometimes stressful, but there is one thing we hope to help keep it from being—confusing! While we have covered the home-buying process at a high level previously, we wanted to dig deeper into the home inspection step.
A home inspection is an important part of buying a home. It is rare for buyers to be willing to purchase a house as is without fully understanding the condition of the home. This may occur in some markets if competition is tough, but most real estate professionals will advise you have an inspection in your offer to purchase. Below are some common questions we investigated to help guide you.
When does the inspection happen?
- The home inspection takes place after your offer to purchase has been accepted. When you and the buyer have tentatively agreed to terms, you take the step to have the home evaluated by a professional who can tell you the condition of the home at a detailed level.
How much does it cost?
- The price of a home inspection can vary based on the location, the size of the home, and the inspector. Generally, they run a couple hundred dollars, but call around to compare. The buyer is responsible for the cost.
Do I (the buyer) need to be there?
- You are not required to attend the home inspection, but it is strongly encouraged if you can make it work. Observing the inspector and asking questions can only benefit your understanding of the condition of the home.
How long will the inspection take?
- There are variables that can impact the length of the inspection, but most inspectors block off 2-4 hours to ensure they are able to cover everything thoroughly.
How will I know what they find?
- Following a home inspection, you will receive a detailed report of the findings, including photos as applicable. The report will help identify items you might wish to ask the seller to repair. It is also important to note that you will likely have to share the report with the seller of the home per contract language.
Does the seller have to fix everything on the report?
- After an inspection, it is common for the buyer of the home to ask for items on the inspection report to be addressed. This can be the start of another round of negotiation between the two parties. If there are items of great concern, the buyer may choose to walk away from the deal (details may depend on contract language) or the seller may choose to decline making any sort of repairs. There is often some give and take to get to a place where both parties feel satisfied with the outcome.
While we covered some of the frequently asked questions at a high level, it is a good idea to consult with your trusted real estate professional on specifics for your scenario or state. Contractual language and state laws should be understood before entering into any home purchase agreement. We hope your home inspection is a breeze and not a headache! Happy house hunting!