Home Inspections: Not Just for Home Buyers

March 18, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: First Time Buyer, Homeownership

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.

Additional Resources

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.

Comments

Coteolivia

This is a great blog and this this very informative for me. thanks for sharing this blog and give some information about home inspections. Keep up good work.

Allen Musk

This is really an interesting article. Loved the way you have presented it & looking forward to visiting such amazing articles in the future as well!!

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Awesome article. It is very informative information. I know very important things here. Thanks for sharing this information.

Green Energy Audits

Thanks for the great share! I also like the idea of Home Inspections. The best part I like is this: The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.

Kendall Ryder

I am about ready to sell my home and I didn’t even think about getting someone to inspect the home! That way I can know if anything needs to be taken care of before I sell. I don’t want problems with the buyers saying that something isn’t right in the home or how it should be. I think this will make the selling process a lot smoother!

Luke Yancey

I think it’s really important that you not only advised your readers to get an inspection when buying a home, but when selling one as well. I have heard a few stories of people who have sold a home that they thought was in good condition, to only later have complaints by their buyers. Some of the complaints were something they had known about before and had repaired. If the sellers would have had an inspection before, they would not have been responsible for taking care of the issue.

kclaflin@tsahc.org

Hi April, the timeframe for repairs covered under warranty may vary by warranty provider, so check your warranty paperwork for specific information about your coverage.  Also, the decision to get a home inspection regularly can depend on several factors, such as the age and condition of the home.  Contact your REALTOR or other trusted housing adviser who can help you determine if and when an additional inspection is necessary.

judy wilson

I think it’s really helpful that you identified these three stages of homeownership when it’s beneficial to hire a home inspector. When I was looking at my home warranty, I was wondering about anything I should do before it expires in the fall. Requesting an “end of warranty” inspection would be a great way to document any issues with my house that might still be under my warranty. I should do that right away so that any repairs that are needed for my house can still be covered.

April Cook

I didn’t know you should get a home inspection right before your warranty expires. Once you do this is there a time frame that you have to do repairs in to have them covered by the warranty? Should you have a regular inspection done every few years even if you are not planning on selling? Thanks for this great information!

Kyle O'Ren

I like what you said about being able to negotiate the price of the home based on the inspection. When I bought my current home I was able to get a very reasonable price after inspection due to a lot of damage even the seller did not know about. It may not always work out that way but it’s always important to keep in mind how much it may cost to repair any home you buy.

kiyel williams

I think it’s a great idea to get a home inspection before you sell your home. Having all that paperwork to show the potential buyer everything checks out will help them decide to buy or not. I will have to tell my friend to do that os he can sell his house easier. Thank you for the information!

Tobias Armstrong

I hadn’t thought about getting an inspection before I sell my home. It makes sense that I’d want to be aware of any problems before I put it up for sale because if there are any defects it could easily affect the selling price. If everything is in good working condition though, it also acts as a confidence boost for whoever is buying it. Thanks for the tips!

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