Passing the inspection advances you to the next level: closing the deal on your house.
Getting beyond the home inspection is sort of like advancing to the next level in a video game.
When you get past this step, you get to advance to a fresh, exciting place — your new home, to be exact.
In Every Inspection, There Are Stakes for Buyers and Sellers
Once the buyer has made, and you’ve accepted, the offer, your home will get the once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is usually a contingency of the offer, meaning the buyer can back out based on serious problems discovered. The lender also expects an inspection to make sure it’s making a good investment. Makes sense, right?
During the home inspection, an inspector will examine the property for flaws. Based on the inspector’s report the buyer will then give you a list of repair requests.
Your agent will work with you to negotiate those requests. Don’t want to be responsible for a repair? (Maybe it’s best if the buyer has the fix made by their own contractor anyway.) Your agent may be able to negotiate a price credit with the buyer instead.
By the way, inspections aren’t necessarily a big, scary deal. Your agent will help advise you about repairs you need to make before the inspection. In fact, she may have made those recommendations to you even before you put the home on the market. And if you’ve been maintaining your home all along (and you have, right?), your punch list may be minimal.
In addition, back when you put the home on the market, you were required to disclose to buyers the home’s “material defects” — anything you know about the home that can either have a significant impact on the market value of the property or impair the safety of the house for occupants. Material defects tend to be big underlying problems, like foundation cracks, roof leaks, basement flooding, or termite infestation.
What a Home Inspection Covers Depends on the Home
Every home is different, so which items are checked during your property’s inspection may vary. But home inspectors typically look at the following areas during a basic inspection:
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Kitchen appliances
- Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
- Doors and windows
- Attic insulation
- Foundation and basement
- Exterior (e.g., siding, paint, outdoor light fixtures)
Depending on the sales contract, the purchase may also be contingent on a roof inspection, radon inspection, or termite inspection.
What a home inspection won’t cover is the unseen. Your inspector isn’t going to rip open walls or mountaineer on the roof. (Though that would be kind of exciting to watch.)