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What is a Home Inspection?


What Happens at a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is exactly what it sounds like- when you get your home inspected. The primary purpose of it during the home-buying process is to find out if there are any potential issues on the property. Not only will a home inspector be looking for defects, but also assessing the age of specific components of the property, as well as finding out how certain things work so they can inform the buyer. 

During a home inspection, a professional home inspector will evaluate the condition of the various systems of a property, including:

  • The condition and age of the roof
  • The condition and age of the heating and cooling system
  • The condition and age of water heater
  • The foundation of the home- any concerning cracks? Is it dry? Is there mold?
  • The condition of the windows- any cracks? Damaged screens?
  • Operation of kitchen appliances- are they all in working order?
  • Is there water damage?

Some additional items that home inspectors offer to check on (usually for an additional charge) are:

  • Radon Testing
  • Termite inspection
  • Pest inspection (mice, roaches, wasps, etc.)
  • Well and/or water inspection
  • Septic inspection

When the inspector is done, they will tell the home buyers what problems were found in the house. The inspector will provide a detailed home inspection report.  This information can be used to Negotiate repairs or price adjustments: If issues are identified during the inspection, you can negotiate repairs or sale price with the homeowner before finalizing the sale. 

If nothing else, the home inspection process gives the buyer a plan for future repairs and maintenance. Even if there are no significant issues, the inspection report can provide valuable information about the condition and age of all the systems and components in the home, helping you plan for future repairs and maintenance. A home inspection can provide potential buyers with the peace of mind and confidence that they are making an informed decision about a significant investment.  

Do I need a home inspection?

A home inspection is optional when purchasing most homes. However, it is strongly encouraged. Some home appraisals (FHA, VA Loans) require a brief review looking for more safety issues, but appraisal inspections are less thorough than a standard inspection.  

A professional home inspection can help you find problems in the home that you might overlook. These problems can cost the new buyer a lot of money. It can also reveal things that may be safety issues, such as faulty electrical wiring or potential mold. Many people ask if one is recommended when purchasing a brand new home; despite most new construction coming with a warranty, it is still a good idea to get one. 

How much does a home inspection cost?

Buyers can expect a range from a few hundred dollars to close to $1,000 when paying for a home inspection. This all depends on the square footage and age of the home, and also depending on how many extra services you want to be examined, for example, well water or radon testing. Most home inspections have a price sheet to show the price increase for extra services and older homes. 

Your real estate agent can explain why it is crucial to get an inspection. They can also give you names of good inspectors in the area.

How long do home inspections take?

The length of a home inspection can vary depending on the size and age of the home, as well as the complexity of the systems and components being inspected. In general, a typical home inspection will take between 2 to 4 hours to complete.

During this time, the inspector will carefully evaluate all visible and accessible areas of the home, including the roof, attic, basement, electrical and plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems, and more. They will also take notes and photos to document any major issues or concerns.

It’s important to note that while the inspection may only take a few hours, the inspector may need additional time to compile their findings and prepare a detailed written report. This report will typically be provided to the homebuyer within a few days of the inspection.

Overall, while a home inspection can take several hours to complete, it’s a crucial step in the home-buying process that can provide valuable information and help ensure that you are making an informed decision about your investment.

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?

In general, there are no fixes that are mandatory after a home inspection. The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any issues or concerns with the property so that the buyer can make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the purchase, negotiate repairs or price adjustments, or possibly walk away from the sale.

That being said, there are some situations where certain repairs may be required. For example:

  1. Safety hazards: If the inspector identifies any safety hazards, such as faulty wiring or a leaky roof, the seller may be required to make the repairs before the sale can be finalized.
  2. Building code violations: If the property is found to violate local building codes, the seller may be required to bring the property up to code before the sale can be completed.
  3. Lender-required repairs: Some loans will require repairs to be completed before the close of the property can be recorded. 
  4. Contractual agreements: If the sales contract includes specific provisions related to repairs or improvements, the seller may be required to follow through on those agreements.

Ultimately, the decision about whether to require repairs or adjustments after a home inspection will depend on the specific circumstances of the sale and the negotiations between the buyer and seller. In North Carolina, all issues that are found during the home inspection process have to be resolved or disclosed to any future buyer. 

Can sellers get a home inspection?

Yes, sellers can absolutely get a home inspection before putting their home on the market. Many, many sellers choose to have their home inspected before listing it for sale, as it can help identify any potential issues or concerns that may need to be addressed prior to putting the house on the market.

Having a pre-listing inspection can also provide several benefits for sellers, such as:

  1. Identify and address issues early: By having an inspection before listing, sellers can identify any issues that need to be addressed early on, allowing them to make repairs and improvements before potential buyers come through.
  2. Accurately price the home: Knowing the condition of the home can help sellers accurately price the property, taking into account any necessary repairs or improvements.
  3. Build buyer confidence: By providing a pre-listing inspection report, sellers can help build confidence among potential buyers and demonstrate that they are upfront and transparent about the condition of the home.

Ultimately, a pre-listing inspection can help sellers be better prepared for the selling process and potentially avoid surprises or delays during the transaction.

Contact your favorite Mantle Realty agent to learn more about buying a home and why you should get an inspection.

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About Mantle Realty

Mantle Realty is a leading  independent real estate firm based in the Triad of North Carolina. Mantle is passionate about providing clients with  cutting edge technology and hometown service, whether they are buying or selling a home.

Many of Mantle Realty’s agents have lived in the areas they serve their entire lives, and love turning their clients into their neighbors. With offices in Kernersville, Lexington, and High Point, Mantle is equipped to cover all of the Triad with convenience and care.