A person qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real estate.
When you’re buying a home, it’s a very good idea to get a professional Glossary Term: home inspection before you Glossary Term: close your purchase and take possession of the home. Some Glossary Term: lenders may require a home inspection as part of the approval process.For a few hundred dollars or a little more (depending on the size of the home), a home inspection can provide you with a review of all the major structural components and operating systems of the house. The goal of the inspection is to identify potential issues with the home prior to the closing.
Even better, if you include an inspection clause in your purchase agreement and the need for a repair is discovered during an inspection, you can require the seller to make repairs before you purchase the home, or to give you a credit in advance for repairs you’d make after you purchase the home. This kind of clause is called a “Glossary Term: contingency.” If the seller refuses, you have the right to walk away from the offer without any penalty. For more about contingencies see Making an offer.
You will hire and pay for the inspector yourself. While your real estate professional may have inspectors they can recommend to you, you can also find your own if you prefer. You’ll want to make sure that the inspector is a licensed professional, so you could start your search by contacting one of the two biggest organizations in the industry and for the names of several local inspectors in your area:
An inspection of the home usually takes about two to three hours and typically covers:
The inspection typically does not cover cosmetic issues with the house. The inspector is looking for functional issues only. For a more detailed description of what a home inspection will and will not include, see the ASHI Standards of Practice located at: http://www.ashi.org/inspectors/standards/standards.asp
Shortly after the inspection, you and your real estate professional will receive a written report detailing potential problems the inspector has found, suggested remedies for them, and in some cases an estimate of repair costs. This is just an estimate, so it is wise to consult other home repair professionals to make sure you understand the expected cost of the repairs.
It is not the inspector's job to tell you whether or not you're getting a good deal on the house. In fact, they won't Glossary Term: appraise the house at all. That's the responsibility of an Glossary Term: appraiser. The inspector is there to report facts about the home's condition, not to make judgments about the home's Glossary Term: value.
In the end, it is your decision whether or not to buy the home. Having an inspection performed can help alert you to any home repair costs that you may have to deal with at a later date and help you include these repairs in your negotiations.