Should a buyer get a home inspection for a home they are buying? Should a seller order a home inspection prior to putting the property on the market? There are advantages for both.

Simply put, a home inspection is a visual examination of both the physical structure and major systems of the entire home including: walls, ceilings, floors, decks, exterior covering, the roof, foundation, insulation and ventilation, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. It is not an appraisal to validate the value of a home, nor a pass/fail exam. A third-party inspector will give a report on the physical condition and suggest repairs.

For buyers, a home inspection clause in the written offer makes the purchase contingent upon the findings can provide peace of mind. If a serious problem is found, it allows room to negotiate the cost of making repairs, or can even allow a buyer to “opt-out” of buying the home altogether. More often, however, real estate inspections reveal less serious defects that aren’t enough to warrant backing out of the transaction. And knowing about these minor problems can prevent major disasters down the road. In addition, if specified in the inspection clause, the cost of the repairs could be at the seller’s expense.

Another advantage to having a home inspection is that it offers buyers an opportunity to become familiar with their new home and learn about necessary maintenance. Although not required, it’s recommended that buyers be present during the inspection. This allows them to observe the inspection; ask questions about the condition of the home; and receive an objective opinion.

For sellers, conducting a pre-sale home inspection before listing a home, puts the control into the sellers hands and can expedite the sale process.

When a buyer’s inspection finds a problem, it can impede negotiations and cost the seller more in repairs. By having a pre-sale inspection, the seller can help to eliminate any surprise findings before an offer has been made. Making repairs before placing a home on the market is a wise and may even increase the value of the home.

A pre-sale inspection can also serve as a great marketing tool. Sellers are required by law to disclose any known defects about the property. Having a pre-sale inspection report available for buyers to view affirms the condition of the home and let's a buyer know that the seller has nothing to hide.

If there are major problems found during the pre-sale inspection, the seller has an opportunity to disclose the condition up-front and repair or replace what is needed. This makes it less likely for a buyer to pull out of a deal or try to renegotiate the price.

Buyer & Sellers

Knowing the true condition of a home can bring peace of mind and is one less hurdle in the home buying/selling process. Ask your REALTOR® for a list of certified independent home inspectors in our area or view Lee Ann's recommended inspectors.