Home inspections provide a level of objectivity in evaluating a home. It is recommended that any home, even a new home, be inspected. Home inspectors play the role of the objective third party. Typically, home inspectors evaluate a property five to ten days before contract negotiations are complete in order to secure mortgage approval. A typical home inspection will cost about $250 to $350 and take a few hours; prices fluctuate by area. Inspection allows buyers and sellers to resolve problems prior to closing. Even though Texas has no home inspection requirements, it is still recommended that you have one performed. For a seller, a home inspection as part of pre-listing a home can help sell the home in a timelier manner. For a buyer, it helps cut down the emotional appeal of a property and gives a more objective and realistic evaluation.
Important things to remember:
- Initial inspections only check the condition of the home at the time of inspection and do not guarantee any condition beyond that point.
- Some special features on a home may not be included in the inspection such as swimming pools, in-ground sprinklers, gazebos, etc.
- It is important that buyers of a home go on the inspection with the inspector and observe.
- Inspectors will not necessarily catch every possible problem in a home.
- Even new homes need to be inspected. All homes are not necessarily up to the standards of the model you tour.
- Inspectors should not recommend or bid on repair work; this is a conflict of interest.
A good inspector will:
- Check for radon and other harmful gases.
- Describe what they are checking.
- Show you useful information such as where to shut off water or light a furnace.
- Give you a report in writing.
Home inspection is now a regulated industry, so make sure you hire a licensed inspector.
Questions to ask of an inspection company:
- How long has the company been performing inspections?
- Does the company have Error and Omissions insurance?
- Will the company give a written and signed report?
- Does the company stand behind its report (give a guarantee)?
- How many real estate companies does the company service too?
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