A home inspection will give you a more detailed picture of a home’s condition than an appraisal. This is an important factor what will be a wise decision – to buy or take a pass on a particular home. Before a seller will let you do an inspection, they’ll likely want a signed contract in place. That’s why this step usually follows the negotiation process.

What Goes Into an Inspection?

A qualified inspector takes an unbiased, in-depth look at your potential new home to:

  • Evaluate the physical condition of the home’s structure, construction, and mechanical systems.
  • Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Estimate the remaining useful life of the home’s major systems, equipment, structure, and finishes.

The Inspection Report

Once the inspection is completed, the buyer will be presented with a detailed report showing what was found. It can include summaries, descriptions of particular problems, and photographs. Many states require that the report be delivered only to the buyer and not to the seller.

A dripping kitchen faucet is not a big deal, but an aging air conditioner or roof might become a costly repair in the near future. The discovery of major issues can bring you and the seller back to the negotiating table. Be prepared to walk away from the deal if the seller refuses to address a big problem and wants you to inherit it. It’s also not uncommon for the seller to provide you with money for you to fix the problems later so the closing date is not delayed.