Home Inspections - An important part of the process
A home inspection is meant to detail problems with a house and if they’re serious enough to prevent a sale. The three main points of an inspection are physical condition, items in need of repair or replacement, and remaining useful life of major systems.
It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection or show up during the last 30 minutes to go over any items the home inspector discovered. Often times the home inspector will have ideas on repairs and maintenance of items in question.
Expect an inspection to take 2-5 hours (old homes may take longer) and to cost $300-$500, depending on size, age, and number of structures being inspected such as garage or guest unit.
It's a good idea for a seller to obtain a home inspection before putting their home on the market. Here are a few reasons why you might benefit from getting your home inspected before you put it on the market.
Reason #1: Reassure prospective buyers.
Even after a walk-through or two, buyers rarely know exactly what to expect from a home inspection -- there’s always the possibility of termites gnawing on that rustic log cabin or faulty wiring lurking behind those faux-finished walls. Providing a pre-inspection assures the buyer that no major surprises are in store; while they might not waive their own follow-up inspection, they’ll at least feel more comfortable about placing a bid.
Reason #2: Buy time and save dough.
Even in a relatively new or completely renovated home, chances are a home inspector can find a red flag or two. After all, that’s their job. When a fault is found during a typical home inspection, you may only have a few days to decide whether to make the repair or adjust the sale price appropriately -- and you’ll need to find a solution that satisfies you and the buyer. A pre-inspection gives you more time to compare prices and treatment options from a variety of contractors. You may also avoid conceding a huge chunk of change for unpredictable repair costs like mold remediation or structural work.
Reason #3: Know where you stand.
Generally, your final selling price is determined long before the inspector ever sets foot inside your door. That leaves a huge question mark lingering over your negotiations -- are you going to be forced to drop your final figure again if a major problem is uncovered? By getting an inspection early, you’ll know what concessions a buyer might request. That allows you to set your asking price accordingly and find out whether or not you’re in a position to play hardball.
Reason #4: Prevent repeat repairs.
No matter how handy you are, there’s always a risk of misdiagnosing a problem. But getting your home pre-inspected could help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary repairs. Say your toilet hasn’t been flushing quite right, so you pay a plumber to replace it -- only to learn upon inspection that the problem was in your septic system. A pre-inspection helps you avoid doing double-duty, since the inspector can pinpoint the problem and recommend the right repair.
While the average home inspection costs a few hundred dollars, it can save time and money in the long run.
To find a reputable home inspector in your area a good resource to check out is the American Society of Home Inspectors