A home inspection is highly recommended and necessary because it is the most valuable contingency the buyer has when they're under a purchasing agreement. The value in identifying issues within a property not only helps keep you safe but also helps you negotiate the final purchasing price or whether to pull out from deal all together.
Home Inspectors examine the interior and exterior conditions of the property. According to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), this is what's required to be inspected by any certified licensed professional:
A professional home inspection can cost anywhere from $300-$400 and up. The price is usually determined by the property's age, location, and square footage. Another determining factor is the home inspector's experience and whether or not they are providing any additional special inspection requests
Typically it's the responsibility of the home buyer to pay for the home inspection, but sometimes sellers will pay for a home inspection before they put it on the market. A home inspection can help the seller by fixing potential problems that could decrease the property's value and how much they can sell it for. But in most cases the buyer will hire a home inspector to help them decide whether it's still worth it to purchase the property.
A home inspection can take anywhere from 1 to 3+ hours, this all depends on the experience of the home inspector and the condition, age, and location of the property, also how accessible the systems are that are to be examined.
To expedite the inspection process, sellers can help by cleaning any clutter inside and outside the property. Please ensure all areas are accessible and easy to examine because the inspector is not required to inspect them if it's a liability, hazard, or danger to them.
Typically what’s not included in a home inspection unless otherwise stated by the inspector is:
Depending on the terms of the contingency clause, the buyer can either decide to continue with the purchase of the property or renegotiate their offer on the home based on the home inspection report. They could also request additional inspections, ask for repairs, or not approve and get their earnest money refunded.
A contingency clause is written into the real estate contract. It gives the buyer a window of time to hire an inspector and get a report documenting any repairs or maintenance needed before purchasing the home to decide whether they want to proceed with the deal. Once the seller is aware of these issues, they can negotiate a price or repair the problems in a certain amount of time stated in the contract. A contingency clause is one of the most valuable tools a buyer can have before purchasing a home.