Your Offer was Accepted. Inspections are Next!

You found your perfect home, made an offer and lined up an inspection. Now what? Your real estate agent will help you navigate this process depending on your specific offer and housing market. This crucial step in the process not only uncovers potential issues with your dream home but also plays a pivotal role in your purchasing decision. Understanding and managing your expectations during a home inspection is key to making informed decisions. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you through this journey.

1. Understanding the Purpose of Home Inspection

First and foremost, it's important to understand what a home inspection is and what it is not. A home inspection is a thorough examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. The primary goal is to uncover any existing major problems that could affect your decision to purchase the property. However, it is not a guarantee that the house is free from any future problems or a requirement to bring the house up to current code. Some common inspections are structural, termite, radon, lead and mold. If you have a chimney, that is seperate as well.

2. Selecting the Right Home Inspector

Choosing a qualified and experienced home inspector is crucial. Look for inspectors who are members of professional organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). Your real estate agent should have some recommendations for your area. A good inspector will have knowledge of local conditions that might affect the home and should be willing to discuss their findings in detail with you. Some inspection companies have all types of inspections in house or they coordinate those with their subcontractors but other inspectors will ask you to schedule those yourself. Be aware of the lime limitations within your offer and sales contract.

3. Being Present During the Inspection

While it's not mandatory, being present during the inspection provides an opportunity to learn about the condition of the home and ask questions directly. It also allows you to see firsthand any issues the inspector identifies. Many people are buying a house from a distance so ask your agent to be present as your representative.

4. Understanding the Inspection Report

After the inspection, you will receive a report detailing the findings. It's important to read this report thoroughly and understand the implications of the findings. Note that the report will list both minor and major issues. Not all findings are deal-breakers, and many can be easily fixed. Try not to feel overwhelmed and call your inspector with any questions.

5. Prioritizing Issues and Making Decisions

Distinguish between major issues that require immediate attention and minor ones that are more cosmetic. Structural problems, roofing issues, electrical or plumbing malfunctions are generally of higher concern. Use the report to make an informed decision — whether to proceed with the purchase, renegotiate the sale price, or ask the seller to make repairs. Think about what your personal comfort level is with home repairs and your current financial situation.

6. Budgeting for Future Repairs

Be realistic about future repairs and maintenance. Owning a home comes with ongoing expenses. Ensure you budget not only for immediate repairs but also for future maintenance.

7. Using the Inspection for Negotiation

A home inspection can be a powerful tool in price negotiations. If significant issues are found, you can request a price reduction, credits, or ask the seller to make repairs. However, in a competitive market, be strategic about your requests. Again, your real estate agent is likely negotiating these transactions constantly so they should be able to offer some guidance here.

8. Knowing When to Walk Away

Sometimes, an inspection reveals problems too costly or complex to fix. It's essential to recognize when a property is not the right investment for you. Don't hesitate to walk away if the issues are beyond what you're willing or able to handle. While there are typical red flags that your agent can identify, you should also trust your gut! Know your financial and personal limitations.


Remember, no house is perfect. A home inspection is not about finding a flawless property but understanding the condition of the home you are about to purchase. By managing your expectations and being prepared, you can navigate the home inspection process with confidence and make the best decision for your future.


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Zoe's understands the time, commitment and sacrifice all medical professionals make on a daily basis, and she is dedicated to bring the same work ethic into real estate, day in and day out.
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