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Buying or Selling a Home? Tips for Home Inspections

Whether you are buying or selling a home, the inspection process is one of the most important aspects of the process. As a home buyer, you are given the opportunity to discover any problems with the property – and possibly have them repaired by the seller. If you are a seller, you will want to know in advance what the inspector will look for within the property so that you can be prepared for their visit and secure that the sale process is quick and seamless. 

Here’s what to expect during a home inspection:

  • The purpose of a home inspection is to visual inspect the physical structure and mechanical systems of a house, including the roof, walls, floors, windows, and doors. The heating and cooling systems will be examined as well as visible plumbing and electric. The buyer is responsible for ordering the inspection. Expect the cost to be between $300-$500. 
  • Since home inspectors aren’t federally licensed, inspections should be performed by a professional from the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. These organizations require their members to pass an exam and require continuing education. Each organization will have a list of inspectors in your area available on their websites. 
  • The inspection process usually takes 2-4 hours. Buyers should plan on being present during the inspection. This will give you insight into your new home and give you a chance to ask the inspector questions. The written report from the inspector can be expected in 3-4 days after the completion of the physical inspection. 
  • Inspectors cannot detect the unseen such as mold, plumbing and sewer issues that are underground or behind walls. It’s always a good idea to spend the relatively small amount of money to get a separate specialized inspection of the sewer system that uses cameras to see what the general house inspector cannot. This can potentially save the buyer from thousands of dollars and potential headache. 
  • Upon completion of the inspection, both buyers and sellers will come away with a good idea of the condition of the home, expected maintenance, and information that can help make the process transparent. 

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