In a hot seller's market, buyers are sometimes tempted to waive the home inspection contingency in the purchase offer. Should you? While every individual has to find a personal comfort level, a home purchase is likely the largest you will make. Buyers should consider how a home inspection might help protect the investment.

What does an inspector do?

Every home is unique, but here are a few examples of what could pop up in a home inspection:

  • Furnace inspection: Does the furnace just need servicing, or is the heat exchanger cracked, which could lead to carbon monoxide leaks and therefore a new furnace--a $4,000 or so expense?

  • Will the home qualify for a FHA loan? Older homes or DIY remodels may reveal, for example, wiring not in conduit, railings too far apart, foundation cracks, or other defects violating FHA rules. An inspector may also turn up unpermitted work and potential code violations.

  • Do the lights and appliances all work? The inspector will turn on everything and make sure they do.

  • Leaks. A ceiling stain or discolored area under the kitchen sink may be evidence of water leakage. Windowsill stains might be evidence of blown window seals. The inspector will determine if these repairs are minor or evidence of a larger problem.

  • The roof. A lay person might think the shingles are adequate, but an inspector can determine if that 20-year-roof is in its nineteenth year--or worse.

The above is just a smattering of what a home inspection from a licensed inspector might reveal. Pricing depends on the size and age of the home, but it will probably be in the $300-$400 range.

Who pays for the repairs a home inspection uncovers? This issue comes up in nearly every transaction, and repairs and costs are part of the negotiation process. They can cause anxiety for both buyer and seller, but experienced Realtors are used to the back-and-forth and know how to protect their clients' interests.

For more information about what to expect as a buyer, click here.

Still have questions about how to approach a home inspection? Contact a Door agent today!