I’ve blogged about home inspections in the past, but mainly from a Seller’s perspective.  Today, I will answer the top 3 questions on home inspections for Buyers! 

  1. Who pays for it? Answer: The Buyer pays for it, chooses the Inspection company, and owns the report that is generated.  It is a good idea to get recommendations first before scheduling with a Home Inspection Company; your friends, family and REALTOR® are good sources for referrals.  Be sure to ONLY hire an Inspector who is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission if you live in Texas!  Home inspections in North Texas are approximately 300-600.00, but can be higher or lower depending on the type of home and the square footage.
  2. When should a home inspection be scheduled? 
    Answer: When a Buyer is under contract with a Seller to purchase a home, there is usually a 5-10 day Option Period.  It is important to schedule the home inspection right away after execution of that contract so repairs, or structural, plumbing and electrical issues can be uncovered and addressed right away (prior to the end of the option period)!  Keep in mind that a licensed Home Inspector will usually find many deficiencies, and not all of them will need to be addressed in order to buy the home.  As a Buyer, ask yourself, “Will this deficiency cause me to feel unsafe living in the home?” and “Does this deficiency lower the value of this property?”   If so, now would be the time to negotiate repairs with the Sellers.  Also note that an Inspector may not know how to work certain mechanical functions in the home (i.e. fireplace gas valves, certain appliances and garage door openers) and may list them as deficient simply because they didn’t know how to test them.  They will also call out anything that is not up to code…so know that when the house was built, it WAS up to code, and is probably still ok; unless the home is really old.  I encourage my Buyers to only be concerned with major issues, such as the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical issues OR items that make the home unsafe.  Depending on the report, some major items may need additional inspections by licensed experts in that field (i.e. Professional Structural Engineer for foundation or Licensed Plumber or HVAC Technician for plumbing or air-conditioning issues).  Bottom line, a home inspection is a limited visual survey and basic performance evaluation of the systems and components of the house.
  3. Should the Buyer attend the inspection?
    Answer: Yes! I always recommend that they do… for at least part of the inspection anyway.  It will give the Buyer a good understanding of the mechanics of the home, and it will help them to understand the severity of each deficiency so they know what (if anything) they will need to negotiate with the Seller before moving forward with the transaction.  After all, buying a home is probably the largest investment a Buyer will ever make!

If you have any questions about the home inspections or the home buying process, feel free to give us a call at (214) 449-1022!