Why pay for a home inspection? A home inspection will help buyers uncover defects in a home before they invest. For sellers, getting a home inspection before the home goes on the market will avoid unexpected costs, delays or cancellations after an agreement has been reached.
- Include a clause in the purchase contract (if you’re a buyer) making the purchase of the home contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. Specify who will be responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing items discovered by the inspector.
- Search your local yellow pages for listings of area home inspectors. Make sure you select one who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Or, contact a local real estate broker who can give you a referral.
- Set up an appointment with a qualified inspector immediately after the purchase agreement has been signed.
- Schedule the inspection at a time when you can actually go through the home with the inspector so that you will fully understand the findings.
- Expect to pay about $300 to $500 for the inspection – costs vary with geographic location, house size and the expertise of the inspector.
- Expect the inspector to test the built-in appliances, electrical outlets, windows, heating and cooling systems, sprinklers, alarms, sinks, showers, tubs and toilets.
- A thorough home inspection should take at least two hours.
- Remember that an inspection is not an appraisal, and market value has nothing to do with the findings of an inspection.
- Consider hiring specifically licensed inspectors to handle environmental inspections.
- As a seller, you will want to limit the amount of work you agree to do or to pay for.
- Don’t let your desire to buy a house override the sensibility of having a home inspection done.
- For homes built before 1978, make sure you have a test for lead paint done.