Home inspections are an integral part of the buying process, so it’s important to know what to expect. Network Real Estate has more than 30 years of experience in our industry, and we’re happy to provide a useful guide that will help you make the most of your home inspection experience.

What’s Covered?

Home inspectors merely examine what’s visible on the home’s surface – they do not conduct extensive testing. They can, however, recommend further inspections or testing if a specific issue is detected. The main function of home inspections is to identify any major problems, such as safety concerns.

Generally speaking, there are a number of basic elements covered by a home inspection. An inspector will usually examine a home’s plumbing, electrical, central air and heating systems, appliances, roof, electrical system and insulation. The exterior of a home including the foundation, lot, siding, decks, doors and windows is also factored into a home inspection. And interior elements such as walls, flooring, cabinetry and steps are covered as well. Attics and basements are part of home inspections if applicable. Of course, what’s inspected will vary depending on the structure’s size, age and other factors.

Should Buyers Attend the Inspection?

Buyers often attend and participate in home inspections, so it’s perfectly reasonable to ask your inspector if you can be a part of the process. The inspection is a great time for buyers to ask questions about the property, as this is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the home’s condition. Be sure to take into account the time of day when you’re scheduling an appointment. You’ll need plenty of natural light to thoroughly examine the home, and it’s best to allow two to three hours for the inspection.

What Are the Costs?

Depending on the area, inspector and home’s size, an inspection usually costs somewhere between $250 and $500. Network Real Estate agents can recommend individuals they’ve worked with, although it’s always a good idea to get estimates from prospective inspectors before finalizing your decision. Always hire a licensed building inspector to ensure you are receiving service and information from a credible source.

What Happens Following an Inspection?

A home inspector details the findings in a written report, which describes conditions in detail and usually includes photos, as well as any major defects encountered. It’s a great idea to reach out to licensed contractors or home professionals to get estimates on any repairs needed. And it’s possible you may be able to negotiate with the seller by asking them to pay for repairs or decrease the purchase price if you’re responsible for repairs. The buyer and seller may even share the costs, but each situation is different, and it’s important not to make any assumptions following a home inspection.

Home inspections can often be deal-breakers when it comes to purchasing a home. If a buyer and seller cannot come to an agreement, then a buyer may choose to back out of a contract. When this happens, a buyer is usually only out the cost of the home inspection, although circumstances may differ according to contract terms. It’s best to choose not only a knowledgeable Realtor, but also one who can help guide you through what can be a stressful experience. Network Real Estate has a stellar team of agents who can ensure your individual needs are met.