Home inspection from a real estate agent's perspective

If you’re a home buyer, one of the most important parts of the home-buying process is the property and home inspection. Having a home properly inspected can be the difference-maker for a hassle-free transaction, and even though it’s going to incur a small fee upfront, it could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run. As a first-time homebuyer, it’s critical to understand what to expect from the home inspection process, and why they’re so important.

Once you’re under contract on your new home, it’s time to hire a professional, licensed home inspector. While we as real estate agents are allowed to give you information about what to look for in a home inspector, we cannot tell you who to use. Once you’ve scheduled the home inspection, we highly recommend being on-site and walking the property with the inspector, so that you know they have looked at everything and you can ask about any concerns.

Typically, a home inspector should take upwards of two hours going around your home and making a list of problem areas. They’ll look for potential pitfalls and take note of what it may cost to fix these areas, so that you can make smart decisions about what to ask for the seller to fix versus what you can live with or are willing to front the cost to fix yourself. A home inspector should look at everything from top to bottom, including:

  • The foundation, looking for cracks and sinking
  • Electrical panels and switches
  • Included appliances like the oven, stove and refrigerator
  • The plumbing and hot water heater
  • The sewer or septic system, helping to ensure you won’t be experiencing a stinky surprise after you’ve moved in
  • The air conditioning and heating units
  • Fireplace issues, including chimney cracks, broken flues, etc.
  • The roof, looking for wind and hail damage
  • Any other property problems, especially around added features like a pool or hot tub

Most inspectors are going to have fees starting around $250, and varying depending on the size and features of the home. In our experience, most home-buyers find that the report an inspector provides after the fact is definitely worth the peace of mind it brings, as well as any negotiation leverage it may provide. That report will be something that we will go over with you, and we’ll present a Treatment/Replace/Repair Notice (TRR) to the listing agent with our requests. From this, the listing agent has a few days to get back to us and let us know if the seller is willing to take on any or all of our requests, and we can negotiate from there. 

As a home seller, an inspection is in your favor as well. Having your home pre-inspected can potentially bring you up to 17% more in your asking price, and it can help to sell your home in half the time. A home that’s been pre-inspected and consequently pre-fixed can help you to eliminate any deal-killers that may come up after you get an offer on your home.

Posted by Reedy Daly and Stace Bohlender on


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