Homebuying FAQs: Why Do I Need an Inspection? by Jennifer Prestwich – REALTOR®

By now, you have found the home you wish to buy, and it is under contract.  Congratulations!  You are on your way to owning that great home, after some due diligence….

One of the first steps to take – after calling your lender and making sure loan process is under way – is to hire a Home Inspector.  Realtors and Home Inspectors work hand in hand during this part of the process, and your REALTOR may know several good, trustworthy inspectors.  Do your own research as well: you will want to be sure that the inspector is bonded and insured, and is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).

Once you have decided on an inspector, you will need to determine which inspections you would like to have conducted.  A regular inspection will include inspection and testing of the main systems of the house, inspecting the roof, the foundation, the furnace and A/C, and the plumbing and water flow.  More specialized testing can be conducted for radon, indoor air quality, water quality, lead based paint, mold sampling or energy surveys, to name a few.  The cost can range anywhere from $300 or higher, depending on the type and extent of the testing.

The inspection usually takes from 2-4 hours, with more time needed for special tests.  The inspector then will walk you through the home and point out things that you should take note of, and the difference between safety concerns and those that are simply cosmetic features.  You will be able to ask questions and get a clear idea of what may need repair or replacing.

Example of Driveway Issue on Inspection Report

After completion, you will get a complete report, with any issues highlighted.  It will include photos and recommendations for all of the areas inspected.

Why do I need this?  When a buyer is out shopping for homes, it is very easy to fall in love with the yard, the floors, the countertops, and the stainless steel gas oven.  Those things are important, but you really need to get under the skin of a house and see what’s going on.  If the furnace is inoperable or on its last legs, you could move in to your brand new home only to spend another several thousand dollars on a new furnace on the first cold day!  You want to have as much information as you can to make an informed purchase.

I always tell my buyers that they should be looking for the “deal breakers”.  Think about what you absolutely cannot live with, or how much you are willing to spend to make things right.  You may have a few dollars or a few thousand dollars to help you weigh what needs to be done – and by whom – before you are willing to complete the purchase.

When you have decided what your list includes, your Realtor will help you draw up an Inspection Objection.  The seller may then elect to do one of 3 things: 1) Sign the Objection agreeing to do all repairs; 2) Counter back saying they will do some repairs; 3) Decline to do any repairs.

The buyer can then decide to: 1) Accept what the seller is offering – or not offering; 2) Ask for a monetary consideration for any repairs the seller is declining; 3) Terminate the contract and move on.

Questions about inspections or any portion of the home buying process?  Call me today! 720-341-5235



  1. Homebuying FAQs: Do I Need an Inspection on a New Home? by Jennifer Prestwich REALTOR® | RealtorJenn - June 8, 2012

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