What Does an Inspection Cost?

January 25, 2016|U.S. Development of Housing and Urban Development 

Ten Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector 

1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront. 

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection. 

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well. 

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest. 

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is Three to Seven  hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings. 

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$700, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees. 

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection. 

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert. 

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate. 

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

Preparing the Seller


Preparing the Seller for the Home Inspection

Selling a home most likely will require a home inspection. This can be stressful for home owners as many don't really know what to expect. Here’s a checklist that can help your home inspection be more successful: 

  • Expect the inspection to take around 3 hours for an average size home.
  • Clear out all storage items from the oven.
  • The dishwasher will be run. You can put soap in it if you like.
  • Clear the kitchen sink of dishes.
  • Place all breakables, antiques and other valuables out of the way.
  • Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work.  If a fixture bulb is out, the inspector has to note that the fixture does not operate correctly.
  • Provide access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel.  Also, the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover (please remove any locks on panels and control boxes).
  • Install a new furnace/air conditioner filter.  It will be looked at during the inspection and be considered as a part of the overall condition of the furnace, air conditioner or heat pump.
  • Ensure that windows & coverings are accessible & operate smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open. Also, remove window security screws or provide keys for window security locks.
  • Replace all worn/damaged weather stripping.
  • Replace all damaged window screens.
  • Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails.  Also, check to be sure that all interior doors will latch to the strike plate.
  • Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull down, especially in a closet.  The inspector will enter every attic.
  • Replace washers on all leaky faucets inside and outside.
  • Adjust the garage door sensitivity to allow the door to reverse when an object is in the way.
  • Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke and carbon monoxide detector per floor.
  • Provide keys or unlock sheds and outbuildings.
  • Verify all utilities will be on at the time of inspection.
  • Have pilot lights on to water heater, furnace, fireplace and stove.
  • Make sure gutters are clear of debris and that downspouts have extensions that carry water six to eight feet from the foundation.
  • Install GFCI’s at all locations within six feet of water. Test the installed GFCI’s to make sure they operate.
  • Leave a note as to where the GFCI resets are located.
  • Remove or restrain pets on site.
  • Be prepared for the inspector to operate and look in the following:
    • Kitchen appliances, air conditioner, furnace, evaporative cooler, all doors and windows, all plumbing fixtures, garage doors, switches, ceiling fans, pool/spa equipment, whirlpool tubs etc. closets and cabinets.
  • Allow the inspector to work without interruption. They are working and have a lot of liability with their job.
  • If there is a Radon test, canisters will be left in your home for 2-4 days. Please leave the canisters undisturbed and keep windows and doors closed during the duration of the test. The inspector will schedule a time to come back and retrieve the canisters.
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