Property Inspections What To Expect

Dated: 03/19/2019

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Property Inspections: What to Expect

A property inspection typically takes place after mutual acceptance, when both parties have agreed to initial terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  Read our article Anatomy of a Real Estate Transaction for a full overview of the process.


This article describes what to expect from your home inspector, the typical costs & what happens during and immediately after the formal property inspection.


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Whats a Property Inspection?


A formal Home or Property Inspection is conducted by a professional, licensed home inspector typically hired by the buyer, to protect the buyers interest in the property.  The home inspector conducts an examination of all physical aspects of the property, including the structure and systems.  

A standard inspection includes findings on all structural components, basement, foundation, windows, doors, floor & sub floors, ceiling & walls, insulation, fireplace, chimney, attic, roof, gutters, HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, all appliances, and surrounding landscaping, trees, bushes, and any outbuildings that may be present.

Most inspectors will provide a formal report that includes their findings with pictures, possible concerns for the present, immediate future and long term.  For example, an inspector may find the roof in decent condition but note the roof will likely need to be replaced in the next 5-7 years.


How much does an Inspection cost?


A property inspection typically ranges between $300 and $700, typically, depending on the size, age and location of the property.   In exchange for the fee paid, the inspector will prepare a comprehensive, written report of everything you should be aware of as the buyer.  This report is yours to keep to plan, budget for, and be aware of any needed property upgrades.


Do I need Property Inspection?


An inspection is not required, but is highly recommended. When purchasing your home,  you want to know what to expect and if there are any major defects hidden in the pipes, wires, or under the shingles. This information will help you decide whether or not to move forward with the purchase.  At the very least, it will help you plan and budget for future repairs and maintenance of your new home.

Additionally, your real estate broker may be able to use the home inspection to negotiate a lower price or a credit to the buyer to repair major issues.  


Do I have to be present during the formal Inspection?


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No you do not, but it is a good idea to be there. It is an invaluable time to walk through the property with a licensed professional, ask questions, and learn more about a house than you ever knew was possible!  


What if the Home Inspection reveals problems?


No house is perfect and nearly every property inspection will reveal problems. Again, the inspector is there to find any current or future issue with the property, and every property will need to be maintained throughout your ownership.  

Go through the report and mark issues you have you questions or concerns about.  Your broker should be able to answer most questions or refer you to a professional who can. Together, you and your broker will formulate an inspection response, requesting repairs or changes to the original contract, as applicable.

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Septic Tanks & Sewers


An additional inspection that may need to be conducted is the septic or sewer scope.  Sometimes sellers have these reports completed when they are getting ready to sell the house, which is a good idea as it helps move along the inspection process.  If no inspection was done, however, your broker will help you schedule the additional vendor needed for these specialized reports. 




Paying for a home inspection is not fun, but is a very good use of money.  The report equips you with confidence only knowledge can bring, you have the opportunity to walk away from the purchase entirely or renegotiate better terms on your purchase contract.  Should you move forward with the purchase, you will be able to plan for upcoming expenses and major projects.

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Marco Murad

Off Market Specialist. Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Relocation, Commercial R.E. I'm a real estate consultant who's made a career of an excellent track record of outstanding results an....

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