A home inspection is one step you should never skip during your homebuying journey.
Home inspections are a buyer’s best form of protection against overpaying for a property. With such a big investment, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any major issues or expensive repairs before you move in. Getting an inspection helps you discover those issues and renegotiate the offer before you commit to purchasing the home.
A home inspection is typically done after the seller accepts your offer and before you (the buyer) fully commit to purchasing it. But should you be present during the inspection? Let’s find out.
But first… what exactly is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of a property. It typically occurs after the seller accepts an offer and before the buyer fully commits to purchasing it. However, there are also a few more instances when an inspection takes place:
- Sellers get an inspection before listing their home
- Homeowners get an inspection of their existing home every few years
- To-be homeowners get an inspection during the construction of a new build
A qualified home inspector assesses the condition of a property - including essential systems and structures such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, the foundation, and the roof.
Why do you need one?
Home inspections are a buyer's best form of protection from overpaying for a home. By getting an inspection (and including a contingency in your offer), you have the chance to renegotiate the closing price of the home based on the findings.
If the home has any major repair needs, you have the chance to go back to the seller to request a lower price or ask them to fix the issues before you close. This means you are paying less out of pocket for the home.
Alternatively, if the sellers aren’t willing to budge, you are able to walk away from the deal with confidence that you made the right choice.
How much does an inspection cost?
Home inspections typically cost $300-500 (which might be higher depending on the size and location of the home). While that might seem like a lot, it’s a lot less than the expenses you will incur from undetected issues and repairs.
Since inspections aren’t mandatory, it might seem tempting to avoid the expense. However, inspections often help you save money. On average, homebuyers save $14,000 using the results of their home inspection (based on initial offer vs. closing price).
Even if there aren’t any major repairs, an inspection helps you understand potential problem areas to look out for in the future. It also gives you peace of mind, helping you understand the condition of the home and removing any uncertainty you might have.
How long does an inspection take?
Typically, a standard home inspection takes 2-3 hours. This varies depending on the size of the property, age, accessibility, and scope of the inspection. It may take longer if you request additional services such as an energy audit, radon test, or lead-based paint testing.
When using Inspectify, you should expect to receive your inspection report within 24 hours of the inspection.
Reasons why you should attend your home inspection
At Inspectify, we highly encourage all buyers, especially first-time homebuyers to attend their inspection. This is the perfect time to ask the inspector questions and get a full understanding of the condition of the home.
Here are a few reasons why you should attend your home inspection:
Discuss your concerns
Being physically present at your inspection is the best way to share any concerns you have about the home. While home inspectors are certified and trained, there is a chance you may notice something that the home inspector misses. Being at the inspection lets you ask the inspector about things that concern you and put your mind at rest.
Learn more about the home
It's important to understand what a home inspection includes. While you can always look at pictures or videos of the house while going through the inspection report, there’s a lot more you can see and learn by walking through the home with a qualified home inspector. If you don't attend your inspection, you miss the opportunity to see your new home through the eyes of an expert.
Learn where things are located
A crisis can be averted in the future if you know where the gas, water, and electric shut-off valves are located. If you are present for your home inspection, the inspectors will usually walk you around the property and point out such things to you, including:
- Where and how to change the heating/cooling system filters
- Where the main electrical disconnect is located
- Where the plumbing clean-outs are located
- How to operate the thermostat
- How to use the gas fireplace
For first-time buyers, this is especially important. Owning a home for the first time can be overwhelming. Since the inspector has looked at many homes before, they’ve dealt with many first-time buyers.
However, note that home inspectors will not give their opinion on whether you should purchase the home. Their job is only to help you understand the condition of the home so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Understand the inspection report
Depending on the size and condition of the home, a thorough home inspection will usually take no more than three hours. Even if you are unable to attend the whole inspection, we recommend that you be present during at least a part of the inspection. This allows the inspector to review findings with you and provide visual reinforcement of what will be included in your written report. You could even show up at the end of the inspection so the inspector can walk you through their findings.
While attending a home inspection isn’t required for homebuyers, it is definitely recommended and beneficial. Walking through the home with an expert will help you understand its problems and familiarize you with the important areas of your home.
If you’re looking to book a home inspection, our online platform allows you to book inspections instantly for the exact time and date you prefer. Our team will handle the logistics of scheduling, so you can focus your time on other things that need to be done before closing.
We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to reach out or leave a comment below, and we'd be happy to help!