Whether you're buying or selling a home, the home inspection is an important part of the process. If you're a buyer, it may save you from becoming the unwitting owner of a "money pit." If you're selling, it can help you get your home into a condition that brings in a better price at closing.
To help you prepare, here are answers to five commonly asked questions about home inspections.
1. When does the home inspection happen?
Typically, home inspections happen right after the purchase agreement has been signed, so that the buyer has time to go back to the seller and negotiate over any problems that come to light. If you're selling, consider scheduling a home inspection before listing your home so you have the opportunity to fix any issues before potential buyers come along.
2. What does the inspector check?
Home inspectors usually check more than 1,600 items during the inspection process. Footn
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), these items include "the condition of the home's heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components."
3. What does a home inspector NOT check?
An inspection won't automatically include things like checking for radon gas, lead paint, toxic mold or asbestos. These items require a specialist inspector. Learn more about what inspectors won't check in a home. For additional details, get a sample home inspection checklist.
4. How do I find a quality home inspector?
Your real estate professional may be able to provide a recommendation or a list of home inspectors in the area. You can also search the ASHI database online for a local ASHI inspector.
5. How much will a home inspection cost?
There is no standardized fee for home inspections, but the national average runs around $324.Footnote
A few factors that determine home inspection costs:
- Going rates in your area
- Size of the home
- Age of the home
- Per hour charge versus flat rate
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, make sure to ask a home inspector up front about how they typically charge for their services and request an estimate for the home you may want to have inspected.
If you're planning to buy
I'm here to help at every step of the home buying process, from consultationFootnote to closing. Contact me today to get started!