Professional home inspectors evaluate the condition of a home for a prospective buyer. The buyer typically pays for the inspection, and uses the findings to address any issues with the home before settlement.
What to Expect
During a home inspection, the inspector examines the house's condition—inside and out, from plumbing to roof condition. The inspection itself usually takes between one and three hours. The home inspector will explain the process to the buyer, and invite him or her to come along during the inspection.
The inspection company may also offer environmental testing services for water quality, radon, lead and asbestos—worth considering if you're buying an older home.
At the end of the inspection, the inspector summarizes his or her findings, answers the buyer's questions, then gives the buyer a signed report of the findings. This report is the buyer’s property—no other party is entitled to see it unless the buyer allows them to.
Additional inspections can be ordered for:
- Septic systems
- Wood-destroying insects
- Chimney condition
- Pools and spas
- Barns and other outdoor structures
- Fences and gates
- Exterior insulation & finish systems (EIFS)