What Homebuyers Need to Know about Inspections

Real Estate

Buying a home may be one of the largest investments that you'll make in your life. It makes sense to ensure that the property you are buying is safe, up-to-code and hazard free.

Home inspection assesses the structural and overall condition of the house. Although it's not mandatory, skipping this process can cost you a fortune in the future. Here are seven things that homebuyers need to know about home inspections before purchasing.

Seven things homebuyers need to know about home inspections

1. Find a Good Inspector

Only a professional inspector has the training to spot even the slightest problems and code violations.


Ensure that the inspector is certified and licensed by the relevant bodies such as the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (NABIE) and the American Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Your realtor should also have a list of inspectors they can refer you to.

2. The Buyer Covers the Cost of the Inspection

It is not uncommon for home buyers to assume that the seller should cover the cost of the inspection, however, a home inspector works for you and is at the cost of the buyer.  It’s to your benefit to have the home inspected.


You should go to the settlement table knowing exactly what you are getting into.

3. What Areas are Inspected?

The American Association of Home inspectors identifies the following areas as mandatory for inspection.

•    The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems

•    Basement and the foundation

•    The electrical system

•    Condition of windows, doors, walls, and ceiling

•    Any visible insulation


Some areas of the house may require scheduling an inspection from a specialist. These areas include the roof, inside the walls, sheds on the property, septic tanks, lead inspections, pest inspections, and asbestos inspections. Your inspector should let you know if you need to get a specialist in.

4. Attend the Inspection

Make an effort to attend the inspection of your potential home which should take between 2-3 hours depending on the size of the house. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions, understand what is in the report, and the inspector can show you where you may have potential issues in the future.

The inspector should bring all the necessary tools for the job such as a carbon monoxide detector, electrical tester, moisture meter, and fuel gas detector.

5. Request for an Inspection Report

Besides a verbal summary of the assessment, you are entitled to a detailed written report of the inspection. You should expect the report the next day after inspection. Make copies since you will need the report for repair negotiations.

6. Post-Inspection Repair Costs are Negotiable

Unlike the cost of inspection which is solely shouldered by the buyer, the cost of repairs can be negotiated. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, the seller can agree to carry out the repairs before the sale, credit you the money for the repairs or the cost can fall on you.

However, there is no room for negotiation if the house was marketed for sale ‘as is’. Such houses cost less and will reflect this.

7. Properly Document Completed Repairs

If you decide to bear the cost of the repairs, be sure to collect and keep all relevant documents. This includes invoices, quotations and repair estimates. You will need these documents for your mortgage and to receive your title deed.

Have a Complete Picture of What You're Buying

Although the prospect of buying a home is exciting, many people are put off by the processes involved and the possibility of getting a bad deal. The peace of mind you will have after an inspection of your dream home is worth every penny, the inspection process is absolutely vital and 97% of previous home buyers agree.


Contact the Michael Stoltzfus Group Coldwell Banker Realtors in Lancaster PA for friendly and professional support for your entire real estate transaction.


Contact us online where one of our professional team members will respond via email or call us today at 717-380-3367.