Schedule Home Inspection
As soon your offer is accepted, you should schedule your home inspection. If you’re buying in a busy season, it may take time to find an available inspector, so rely on your real estate agent to recommend trusted home inspectors.
What is a home inspection?
Your home inspector will check a massive list (more than 1,000 items) of systems, appliances and structures in your home to evaluate its condition. You’ll get a written report that identifies potential problems and future maintenance issues. It’s up to you to decide whether the report means you want to walk away from a house or ask the sellers to make repairs. You can also have an “information only” inspection, which means you’re buying the house as is, but want to know its condition.
What’s included on a home inspection?
The inspector will check:
- Structural conditions such as the foundation, beams and floors
- Roof condition
- Mechanical systems such as heat and air conditioning
- Appliances – to make sure they’re working
- Plumbing – for leaks, rust and water pressure
- Electrical systems such as grounded outlets and code violations
- Safety issues such as stairs, handrails, mold or chimney maintenance
What should I watch for during the home inspection?
You and your real estate agent should attend the home inspection to learn about home maintenance and so you can see any potential problems yourself. The inspector can answer questions as you go, so if there’s anything you don’t understand or are worried could be a problem, just ask.
I’ve got the home inspection report, now what?
While you and your real estate agent can decide whether to negotiate on anything in the inspection report, you can ask the inspector the following questions:
- Are the items you’ve flagged major or minor issues?
- What needs to be done to resolve any flagged issues?
- Can you give me an estimate of the cost of any repairs?
- Do I need another inspection, such as by an electrician or a structural engineer?
- Are there things I need to do after I move in
Your experienced real estate agent can be the best adviser to help you understand the implications of the home inspection.
The home-buying process doesn’t need to be scary. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and answer your questions on what you should expect from your REALTOR®, where to look for loans, and what to watch out for when closing the deal. Search homes for sale and use our expertise to help you gain the most in today’s real estate market.
Real Estate Glossary
Use this glossary to make yourself more prepared for the professionals and documents you'll encounter in your real estate experiences.