How are home inspections used when purchasing a house ? Other than financing, home inspections are the single most important component of a Real Estate transaction.
BUYERS: if you are not a licensed contractor as a buyer, its always wise to hire and pay for a home inspection. There are numerous inspectors as is Realtors, my advice is ask for recommendations from family, friends, co-workers that have recently purchased a home. Typical costs are $400-$500, some companies charge more depending on the size of the house. The actual inspection will last 3-4 hours with a written report from the inspector after they are finished. I always recommend a prospective buyer at a very minimum meet with the inspector at the property before the inspection is completed, this enables the inspector to explain and answer questions of possible issues.
SELLERS: As a seller no matter how good of condition your house is in, you have to come to realization that the inspector will find issues with your house. Per the sales contract the buyer will request the items that they want addressed from the inspection. In many cases the issues are small and inexpensive, this is where your Realtor needs to discuss the potential costs and advise on how to proceed.
Conclusion: I suggest to buyers to focus on major issues that effect the safety and livability of the house, leaks, electrical (safety), etc.... Sellers need to focus on addressing those major issues, unfortunately if they don't they will be revisited again with the next buyer's inspection. Both parties can move forward toward a happy closing after these items are agreed on....