What Do Home Inspectors Look At?
A home inspection is a crucial part of the home buying process. A professional and reputable home inspector can identify key areas of concern that can ultimately impact a home buyer’s decisions. As such, you should never forego an inspection when you are seriously considering purchasing a property.
But, what do home inspectors actually look at and how much does an inspection cost these days? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you and your exclusive home buyers agency prepare for negotiations with the selling party.
How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?
One of the most common reasons home buyers bypass the home inspection process is that the buyer does have to pay for the inspection out of pocket. But, the cost of the inspection can be minor if you purchase a home with an unforeseen problem that you don’t discover until after the sale is finalized.
In truth, the cost of a home inspection varies depending on where you are buying the home, who is performing the inspection, and the square footage of the home. On average, home buyers should expect to pay around $400 for a home inspection from a reputable company in the Wilmington NC area. This figure is based on the standard 2,000 square-foot home.
What an Inspector Will and Will Not Check
Home inspectors perform independent reviews of properties. They are not influenced by any other professions or parties in the real estate transaction. They also don’t follow a hard set of inspection guidelines. In most cases, inspectors perform non-invasive checks, meaning they do not open up walls and they do not take things apart. Inspectors generally check that the major systems within the home are operating in the manner for which they were intended. The typical home assessment includes:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Condition of windows and doors
- Kitchen appliances
- Washing/dryer machines (if it’s included)
- Condition of the roof and chimneys
- Condition of exterior walls
- Condition of gutters
- Electrical outlets and switches
- Plumbing fixtures
- Property drainage systems
- Insulation and ventilation in attics and crawlspaces
Things an inspector does not have to include in their inspection report (unless the signs are clearly evident) include:
- Termites, mice, and other types of insect and rodent infestations (Pest inspections can be additionally purchased as part of the inspection.)
- Swimming pools
- Septic systems
- History of the home
- Health of trees on the grounds
- Heating oil storage tanks
- Mold on the inside of walls
Most inspectors look for problems that need to be addressed right now. They can’t tell you how long your air conditioning unit will last before it needs replacing but they can tell you if it is properly working when you purchase the home. They simply provide you with a list of immediate hazards that need to be fixed before you can safely inhabit the home. You can always bring in additional specialist to conduct inspections on many of the items not covered by a home inspector.
Why You Need a Home Inspection
Even though most home inspectors check the home on a visual basis, their knowledge and advice is priceless to the home buyer. If during the inspection the inspector discovers a problem that needs to be repaired or replaced immediately, the home buyer can use that information in their negotiation process.
For example, if the home inspector finds that the roof is in need of replacing, then the home buyer may possibly negotiate for either (a) the current home owners to have the roof replaced prior to closing, or (b) the cost of the roof replacement be deducted from the final cost of the home. In either case, the financial burden of replacing the roof is removed from the buyer. But, if the buyer buys a home without a home inspection, and they discover after moving in that the roof is bad, then they will have to cover the cost of replacing the roof using their own funds.
A Home Inspection + A Home Buyer’s Agency = The Best Home Deal
By using a home buyer’s agency, like Just For Buyers Realty, and getting a home inspection before purchasing is a combination that will help you get the best deal terms on your new home. The inspection will give you everything you need to know (within reason) to make a smart bid, while the home buyers agency will negotiate the absolute best possible terms on your behalf. Give Just For Buyers Realty a call today at 910-202-4813. One of our licensed exclusive buyer’s agents will be happy to help you find your dream property, hire a reputable home inspector, and help you negotiate the best terms on your new home.