Home Inspections 101

Do you have questions about what to expect during a home inspection? Why should I get a home inspection? How can I use the information from my inspector for negotiating with the seller?  Many people are hesitant to get a home inspection after they have found the perfect house. However, you should not be afraid of this process! Home inspections are important because it allows you to find out what condition the property is in before making your final decision and signing on that dotted line. This blog post will answer some common questions about home inspections so that you can make a more informed decision.


What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the interior and exterior of a house. A licensed inspector, whom you hire, will go through the property, take pictures and note any problems they find along the way. Their job is the document the home as thoroughly as possible of all problems they see with the home, big or small. It should be noted that just because a report comes back with problems, DOES NOT always mean the house is in bad shape. Once you receive the report back, you can negotiate new contract terms based on the problems at hand.


Why should I get a home inspection?

The main goal of a home inspection is to identify any potential issues or problems with the property prior to purchasing the property. Every property is different and may require different inspection “add-ons”. In PA you have the ability to opt for a radon inspection, septic inspection, termite inspection and others. It is a good idea to consult with your REALTOR® as to if you should elect any of these in your Agreement of Sale contract.

Note, in certain markets, it is common to see buyers not requiring home inspections as a condition to purchasing a home. This is a decision made by the buyer(s) to strengthen their offer. You agree to the terms on any contracts you sign.


Who performs the home inspection?

Home inspections are performed by licensed professionals who have experience in construction and building codes. When researching who to use for inspections, be sure to use a reputable inspector. Not sure who to use for your home inspection? We have a list of trusted inspectors who we can refer you to. Give us a call or send us an email and we will send over our recommendations.


How much does a home inspections cost?

Home inspections vary in cost. Size of the home is usually a determining factor as to what you will be charged. The basic average home inspection is roughly $400-$500, any other inspections such as termite, radon, septic, well etc. are usually an additional fee.  You the buyer are responsible for paying for the home inspection should you elect to have one.


When does a home inspection occur?

When a home inspection occurs depends on the agreed-upon terms in the agreement of sale. Should a home inspection have been elected, they are typically completed within the first 10 days of the contract. Then you have a few days after the 10 day period to reply to inspections. A reply to inspections is when you come back with a list of new terms for the seller to agree upon. Example: It was noted on the inspection report that some of the electrical is wired improperly to the electrical panel. You can put in your reply to inspections that the seller must hire an electrician to fix the said issue prior to settlement.


Can I attend my home inspection?

Yes, you can attend your home inspection, although you are not required to. Typically, a formal report of all the findings will be put together and sent to you and your agent for review.

As you go through the home buying process, it is important to make sure that your new property has no flaws. A professional home inspection will give you a detailed report of any defects and what they would cost to repair. The inspector may also recommend changes in order to improve the safety or quality of life for future homeowners. If you have more questions about this topic, we are here for you. We can answer all of your concerns so that when purchasing a house becomes an option, there are no surprises!