Your Home Inspection Checklist
A professional home inspection evaluates the structure and safety of a home and ensures you're buying a hazard-free, up-to-code property. Here's a checklist to help you learn about the inspection process and what to do afterward!
Include a Home Inspection Contingency In Your Contract. Make sure there's an inspection contingency, or "due diligence" contingency, in your sales contract. This gives you a specified time period in which to have an inspection performed. The period is anywhere from 1-2 weeks from the sales contract date, in most cases.
Hire a Good Home Inspector. Hire a thorough, experienced and certified home inspector that has a full insurance policy and deep experience in the area you're buying in.
Read Your Home Inspection Report. Your home inspection report should have a section for each area of the house and notes about anything that is damaged, needs repairs or isn't functional. Use this report to gauge what other inspections may be necessary, such as a termite, mold, pest or lead inspection.
Decide What's Important and What's Not. Evaluate the results of your inspection and decide which issues pose a hazard to you, which ones would cost a lot to repair, which ones would prevent you from moving in on time and which repairs you can handle on your own.
Make Your Decision. After reviewing your inspection reports, decide if you'll go through with the deal, renegotiate or go back to the drawing board. If you're within your contingency period, you have these options:
- Continue as planned, with the same price and terms you agreed to.
- Renegotiate the price or ask for closing cost credits to cover the damages/repairs.
- Ask the seller to make repairs.
- Cancel your contract and back out of the deal.
Confirm Repairs Have Been Completed. If the seller made repairs to the home, make sure they were done to your liking. If the repairs were major, you may want to have the original inspector do a "reinspection".
After you've confirmed that the appropriate repairs were made, you can move toward closing!