Skipping a home inspection when you are buying or selling a house could end up costing you more money than you ever planned for. Paying for a professional home inspector is your best choice to ensure your home is safe and there will be no large unexpected costs in the near future. As a seller, it can boost your reputation and save you from having to negotiate with low offers when potential buyers find an expensive problem. When you list your home, let buyers know you have already had it inspected and show proof.
Finding a professional and qualified home inspector you trust is just as important as finding the right REALTOR®.
Interview Them As You Would An Agent
One of the first things you probably did before house hunting was interview an agent to see who was the right fit for you. The same should be done with a home inspector. Interview them on the phone about:
- What they look for
- How long they will be on the property?
- What they charge
- What they offer afterwards if anything was missed
- How long they have been in the business?
They should tell you they check things like:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Plumbing and electrical
- Exterior wall and foundation
- Interior walls
- Roof and chimney
- Crawl spaces
The process should typically take anywhere from two to four hours.
Cheapest Is Not Always Best
You may not want to necessarily go with who your real estate agent suggested because their connection is more expensive, but just because you are friends with a friend who knows a contractor does not mean you should instantly go with them.
A qualified professional should cost anywhere from $350+ but it also depends on how large your home is. Some may charge a flat-rate fee and others may charge per square footage.
Joining The Walkthrough
A professional home inspector will not let you sit around while they look around your home. They will want you to join them so they can explain to you their findings, how things can be repaired, and what needs updating and why. This is a great opportunity for homeowners (especially first-timers) to learn more about their home and safety too. Have your real estate agent present so they can also stay informed of any issues.
Never be afraid to ask questions along the way too. That is what they are there for, to ensure you are well educated with your home, how to fix current issues, or avoid issues in the future.
Receiving The Report
At the end of the inspection your inspector will hand you a written report of their findings, as well as information on how to continue to maintain your home. If you do not receive results the same day, you should typically have them the following day, and some inspectors will include photos of problem areas that need fixing.
Can A Home Inspection Fail?
There is no passing or failing a home inspection. They are merely there to explain what issues should be addressed, if any. Whether or not you decide to fix them is completely up to you. As a seller, your home may stay on the market longer if there are problems you did not fix. As a buyer, you may not be able to afford fixing all the problems that come with the home.