Your Home Inspection Questions Answered

Posted by Carey Frankel on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 5:25pm.

As a first-time home buyer, your real estate agent likely recommended a home inspection contingency with your offer. But what exactly is a home inspection and what rights does it afford you in the home buying process?

Here is a list of your top home inspection questions answered so you can better understand the process of a home inspection – and why it’s so important for home buyers:

Q: What does a home inspection include?

A comprehensive home inspection includes a visual examination of the home’s major systems and structure. This includes the home’s roof, foundation, heating and cooling system, doors and windows, plumbing, insulation, and drainage. It is important to remember that a home inspection includes only what a home inspector can access and visually inspect by normal means.

Q: When do I hire a home inspector?

In general, a home inspection is done after your offer on a property has been accepted and before closing. Most real estate contracts provide a grace period during which you can inspect the property.

Q: What happens after the home inspection?

After the home inspection has taken place (you or your agent may be present during the home inspection, if desired), you will receive a written report from the professional home inspector regarding the findings from your home inspection within a few days. This report will not include a pass or fail grade; instead, it will simply list all of the areas that were inspected and all recorded problems.  You and your real estate agent will likely review the results from the home inspection and decide if you will return to the negotiation table with the seller and request repairs, replacements, or the money for doing so.

Q: What if the home inspector finds a major defect in the home?

Your real estate contract likely has clear language that allows you to back out of the real estate transaction if a major problem is found, or if the seller does not agree to remedy any or all of the problems on the report.

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