They are optional
Despite what you see on tv you can choose whether or not to have an inspection done. Your agent will be looking out for your best interest and often suggest you have one done. Why we suggest you to have one done is so you have a chance to see if there are any issues the home may have that you may have not seen. It also gives you an idea if you are equipped to handle this property or if you should move on to a new one. If something does come up on the inspection you can also negotiate the repair cost off the purchase price.
The Buyer is responsible for the inspection
Since the home inspector is working for you, you will call and set up a time to have them inspect the property as well as pay the fee. Remember to give yourself enough time to find a certified inspector and arrange for them to see the home. If you are not sure who you should call your agent will have names and numbers they can give you.
The inspector must be certified
It might seem like a good idea to have a contractor inspect the property because they may cost a little less but unfortunately they have not taken the same training an inspector has. They also have certain rules and regulations they must follow. Be sure to ask or check the internet for their qualifications.
What the home inspection will cover
The inspection includes the visual examination of the home's exterior including roof and chimney, structure, electrical, heating and cooling systems (visual conditions only), visible insulation, plumbing, interior including floors, walls, ceilings and windows. The inspector will also functionally operate major built-in appliances.
What the home inspection doesn't cover
There are limits to what they can check. The inspection will exclude latent defects that cannot be reasonably detected in a non-invasive inspection. This means they can't take down any walls. They also won't inspect inside septic tanks, wells, sheds, or additional structures separate form the main home. The inspector is also not responsible for doing any repairs. They can however recommend someone if you ask.
Ensure you get an inspection report
The inspector is required to provide you with a home inspection report. They will usually tell you about issues as they go but they will always put them in the report for reference later. It should include pictures of the damaged areas as well. Read it over carefully before you negotiate repairs. It's also a good idea to keep an extra copy for your records.
Repairs after an inspection are negotiable
There are 3 outcomes to negotiating: the seller will have the repairs done before possession, the seller can credit you money for the repairs, or you can take them on yourself. You really have to figure out what you could do yourself or what you would prefer to not take on. These are all things you can discuss with your agent if you really aren't sure how to go about it.
You can walk away after an inspection
Your agent should have added an inspection condition. If you get the report back and you have a legitimate reason for not wanting to move forward with the purchase, ex. black mold, you can decide not to remove the inspection condition. You also might have gone back and forth with the seller and just can't come to an agreement on who will do the repairs and decide again to not remove the condition. Be sure to talk this over with your agent as there are times the seller can keep your deposit as collateral.
Remember your agent is always looking out for you and keeping your best interest in mind. If you are ever unsure what to do in a situation always ask! We are more then happy to help answer any questions and walk you through the whole process. Our job is to find you a home with as much stress taken off of you as possible!