Inspections are very necessary but have the potential to cause a lot of stress during the home buying or selling process. Having the mindset that no home is perfect, even new construction homes, may ease your mind a bit going into inspections. I tell my buyers… you are paying the home inspectors to find something for you!
Today we’re going to go over some of the most common questions and concerns around inspections because who needs more stress? No one!
A home inspection is a lot like going to the doctor for an annual check-up. You assume everything is mostly OK but check it all out just in case! And just like with an annual doctor’s visit, the higher in age the home is the more detailed the check-up might have to be.
A standard home inspection checks on the general health of many components of the home, including:
- Heating and air conditioning
- Basic plumbing (think under sink plumbing) Electrical
- Doors and windows
- Attic access and condition including insulation Floors, walls, and ceilings
In the greater New Orleans area I usually strongly suggest doing a separate video plumbing inspection, especially on slab homes. The plumber runs a camera in the sewer line to make sure there are no breaks, holding water or obstructions.
A termite inspection is also generally a good idea in our region.
Depending on the age of the home you may also do separate inspections (on the same day) specifically looking closer at the roof and/or the structural integrity of the home (especially if you are thinking about doing renovations).
Who is responsible for what?
Generally buyers decide which inspections to order (with guidance from their Realtor) and the buyer is responsible for paying for those inspections. The buyer’s agent can provide guidance on which inspection companies they’ve used in the past and set up the appointments.
The seller is responsible for making the home available for inspections and making sure all utilities are turned on.
If possible, the buyer should attend the inspections. It’s a great opportunity to get a better look at the home, measure closets, and get immediate feedback from the inspectors.
How are problems addressed?
After inspection day the buyer will have one or more inspection reports to review. Minor issues are common and generally shouldn’t be considered deal breakers – every home has some!
Major issues might include a problem with one of the more expensive elements of the home, like a non- functioning heating unit, a crack in a sewer pipe, or a foundation issue.
For more expensive fixes, the buyer may want to go back to the negotiating table with the seller. The buyer can request either that the major issue is fixed OR that the price be dropped to accommodate the fix at a later date. The seller can then counter-offer or decide whether to deal with the issue, accept a price drop, or negate the contract and try to find a different buyer.
Always be mindful of when your inspection period ends. This is a time frame you indicated on your offer. You have this allotment to get your indicated deficiencies to your seller.
Cost of Inspections
The full cost of inspections will all depend on which inspections are ordered and who is contracted to complete them. On a single family home they generally range from $350-600.
Video plumbing inspection can be $225-300 and termite inspections run between $100-250.
Don’t let worries about inspections keep you from considering listing or buying a home. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help walk you through your personal situation!