On the Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Home Inspections

Home inspections are crucial in the real estate process, serving as the foundation for informed decision-making.

When purchasing a home, an inspection offers an unbiased third party opinion of the functionality and safety of your home. It examines things like structural elements, roof integrity, utility function, potential termite or mold damage, and other factors that might affect your decision to purchase a home.

What is a Home Inspection?

Simply put, a home inspection is a safety and quality assessment of a property that is about to be sold. It allows prospective buyers to understand the home’s current condition and any issues that may require repair before settlement and move in.

The Home Inspection Process

1. Selecting a Qualified Home Inspector

Selecting a home inspection company is a personal choice, but your real estate agent can recommend companies with a positive reputation for timeliness, attention to detail, and integrity in their reporting to ensure your inspection is thorough and complete.

2. On Site Inspection

Once you select your home inspection company, they will schedule a specific inspector who will conduct the entire inspection, likely 1-2 weeks after you go under agreement on a property. They will then conduct all inspections that you elected per your agreement of sale, and provide a comprehensive report on all findings, and recommended repairs or alterations.

3. Inspection Report

The inspection report will outline all features of the home that were inspected, with or without issues. For any issues, the report will outline a recommendation for repair via a professional service or technician.

4. Reply to Inspections 

Once you have reviewed your inspection report with your agent, a reply to inspections, or addendum is submitted to the home sellers to come to an agreement on which repairs will be addressed, or any monetary concessions that will be made by the seller to compensate for the issues.

What Areas are Covered in a Home Inspection?

Exterior components

The major elements of the exterior that are examined during a home inspection are the foundation, to ensure structural integrity and any signs of damage or deterioration. Another key area is the roof, again the inspector will survey the roof’s condition and sealing to ensure there is no potential for external damage.

Interior components

The interior portion of the home inspection is comprehensive and includes everything within the four walls of the home including but not limited to appliances, doors, stairs, cabinetry, and masonry installation.

Plumbing system

During a plumbing inspection, the function of the hot and cold plumbing manifold is examined as well as the function of faucets, showers, and toilets. The function of gas lines also fall under the plumbing inspection, the integrity of the lines is a focus of this inspection.

Electrical system

Ensures that the circuit breaker system is functional and all light switches, outlets, and power is running properly. 

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system

Testing the functionality of both cold and hot settings of the HVAC system, and that the air is being evenly distributed throughout the house or to the appropriate zones.

Specific Types of Inspections to Consider

Specialized inspections can be recommended depending on the property type and location. These often include termite inspections, radon testing, or mold assessments. In Philadelphia, 

Radon is particularly prevalent. Radon is an invisible, odorless, toxic gas that should not be above certain levels in an indoor environment. Termite inspections are also often recommended as Philadelphia is an older city, some wood infestation can occur over time given that these homes often original wood features. 

Common Issues Uncovered During Home Inspections

The frequency of discovered issues in homes depends highly on the home type and age. Your real estate agent will recommend which specialized inspections should be conducted depending on the property, and advise vendors or technicians to professional repair any issues uncovered. 

What happens if issues are found?

A detailed inspection report will show all issues found, along with the recommended repair. From there, your real estate agent will negotiate with the seller to request repairs or monetary compensation so that the buyer can make such repairs themselves. If substantial issues are uncovered, this is the point in the transaction where buyers can terminate the contract, or 

Importance of Home Inspections for Sellers

Pre-listing inspections are recommended in order to be proactive in repairing any issues found before taking the property to market. This allows the seller to correct the issues and bring the property to market at its highest value possible. It also shows potential buyers that the home is well maintained and the seller’s property disclosure will offer a full report on the condition of all features of the home.

Tips for a Successful Home Inspection

How to find and choose the right inspector

Your real estate agent is your ultimate resource in recommending a home inspector, based upon your location and closing timeline. The criteria for selecting a home inspector is there ability to quickly conduct an inspection and turn around a report that is thorough and presents all current issues, or ones that may arise in the near future. Our team has a list of preferred companies who will also review elements of the inspection, if elaboration is needed for repairs or severity of certain issues.

Be present during the inspection

It is recommended that the buyer attends the inspection, especially if a first time home buyer. They can learn about functions of the home, particularly pertaining to the electrical, HVAC, or plumbing systems, which may not be intuitive. It also allows the buyer to ask any questions or express any concerns directly to the inspector.

How much does a Home Inspection cost?

The average cost of a home inspection ranges from $700 to $1,200 depending on square footage as well as any elected specialized inspections.

A home inspection is a crucial safeguard in the home-buying journey, offering a comprehensive evaluation of a property's condition.

From the foundation to the HVAC system, each facet is scrutinized to ensure a buyer's peace of mind and protection of their investment. The collaborative effort between buyers, sellers, and qualified inspectors is vital in reaching agreements on repairs or concessions, fostering transparency in real estate transactions. For sellers, embracing pre-listing inspections can elevate a property's market value and establish trust with potential buyers. 

Ultimately, the home inspection process serves as a cornerstone for informed decision-making, empowering both buyers and sellers in achieving successful and satisfying real estate transactions.


More on the Blog

Find what moves you.

Work With Us

Our expansive network and white-glove service ensure a bespoke experience for both buyers and sellers.
Contact Us
Follow Us