A home inspection is a great way to discover the true health of the home you want to purchase. It can provide peace of mind as well as reveal any issues.
Coordinating the inspection
It is your responsibility to schedule the inspection, but most real estate agents will schedule this for you. It’s important to have the home inspection soon after the seller accepts your offer and to find a time for the inspection that works for all parties, including the seller. This could impact the offer and the sale of the home. You and your real estate agent will likely want to be at the property while the inspection takes place. The seller will usually need to leave the home during this event.
The home inspection
During the home inspection, you’ll want to tour the property with the inspector, if possible. If certain areas of the home concern you, make sure to point those out. You can also ask questions about general maintenance and care for various items.
Insulation and ventilation
Heating and cooling systems
Major appliances like the refrigerator, washer, and dryer
Fireplaces and venting
Foundation, crawl spaces, and the wall structure
Exterior features like driveways, deck, and surface grading
Interior features like stairways, garages, basements, and windows
Part of the inspection process is getting answers about the home’s structure and condition, so it’s important to ask questions. If you’re unsure about something your inspector says, make sure to ask for clarification. The inspection will also be one of the last times you’ll visit the home before your purchase. It’s a great time to take photos and measurements for items like window blinds and furniture.
To keep track of what you want an inspector to look at, download the home inspection checklist.
After the inspection
After the home inspection, you’ll want to take your time going through the report with your real estate agent. If you find problems, such as a roof that needs replacing, think about how you want to deal with them. You might ask the seller to either make repairs before you move in or to take money off the purchase price so you can make repairs once you take ownership. If the seller does not want to negotiate, or the inspection reveals things like room additions that aren’t up to code, or you discover other problems that compromise the integrity of the home, you’ll want to determine if you’re prepared to either take care of these issues or walk away from the sale and continue your home search.
This is a great time to ask your real estate agent for insights on what might be a deal breaker, and what is worth negotiating.
If your inspection doesn’t reveal anything that compromises the integrity of the home or only minimal issues that aren’t worth negotiating, then the home purchase will continue to move forward.