You've probably heard that ordering a home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process, but did you know that inspections can be very useful for existing homeowners too? A licensed home inspector can provide both buyers and homeowners with an unbiased report of a property’s condition to inform them about health and safety issues and other defects that affect the value of a property. We have identified three stages of homeownership where it is beneficial to order a home inspection.
1. Before you Buy a Home
This home inspection is a must. It is typically conducted right after the seller has accepted your offer and will help you determine if you want to move forward with purchasing the home. Your REALTOR® will help you write your offer, and it should include an option to cancel the contract if the inspector discovers something that concerns you. You may also be able to use the inspection to negotiate the price of the home or any significant repairs with the seller. Many REALTORS® can provide you with a recommendation, but you are free to select any home inspection company licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Click here to see a list of suggestions put together by Angie’s List, which include how to find a good home inspector, what to expect during and after the inspection, and how much you can expect to pay.
2. Before Your Warranty Expires
If your new or previously-owned home came with a warranty (or if you purchased a warranty after you closed on the home), consider getting a home inspection right before the warranty expires. The inspection will document any builders’ defects or other issues while they are still covered under warranty. Make sure to let the inspector know you are requesting an “end of warranty” inspection because that may affect the price as well as what is inspected.
3. Before You Sell Your Home
Many real estate professionals now recommend that sellers obtain a home inspection before listing their home for sale. This gives the seller the opportunity to address any major repairs that could potentially delay or derail the sale of the home. Performing the repairs ahead of time may also be cheaper than trying to negotiate the cost of the repairs into the price of the home or paying the buyer’s contractor to perform the repairs. It is important to note, however, that Texas law requires sellers to disclose any known material defects in the home, so you may need to disclose the results of the inspection to potential buyers.
8 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector (U.S. News and World Report)
5 Biggest Home Inspection Mistakes (Bankrate)
Field Guide to Home Inspections (National Association of REALTORS®)
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.