Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


Image by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay

A home inspection is a service that’s usually paid for by the buyer in a real estate transaction, and you have the option to forgo this when you’re purchasing a house. In almost every situation, however, real estate agents recommend getting a  home inspection. Here’s why an inspection is so important.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is essentially an audit of a home’s structure and vital systems, and the audit is performed by a home inspector. Home inspectors are independent parties, which allows them to provide objective assessments, and they specialize in this particular service. Home inspectors have a broad knowledge about foundations, structural integrity, HVAC systems, plumbing systems and much more.

A basic home inspection generally includes an assessment of the house’s structure and essential systems. Some inspections will also check for mold, pests, lead paint and other potential issues.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

The cost of a home inspection is usually based on the size of a home and what exactly an inspector is looking for. An inspection that checks for mold and pests will typically cost more than only a basic inspection that looks at structural integrity and essential systems. Even among basic inspections, there are sometimes varying levels that cover different systems at different costs.

Despite the variance in price, however, home inspections tend to be quite affordable. Most inspections cost a few hundred dollars for a fairly common single-family house.

What Do You Do With Results from a Home Inspection?

After a home inspection is complete, the inspector will furnish a report that details their findings. Few homes are absolutely perfect, and there are normally at least a few issues noted on an inspection report. Depending on what the real estate market is like and what’s noted on a report, there are a few ways you might use this information.

First, the report at least tells you what issues the house has so that you can make sure you want to purchase the property. Second, you can also use the report to prioritize projects once you own the building. Finally, sometimes items in a report can be used to negotiate the sale price lower.


There are few things for a home seller that are more stressful than the home inspection. You hope and pray that everything will come out a-OK in your house so that your buyers will want to continue with the sale without asking for too many contingencies. There’s a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home inspection goes smoothly. The good news is that these tasks won’t cost you a lot of time or money. A few simple actions can save you a lot of grief in unnecessary service calls. Check out these tips to help you get through the home inspection with flying colors:


Check Your Light Bulbs


If you have a light bulb that’s simply burnt out, that could prompt the need for a check of the entire electrical system in your home. Avoid a costly visit from an electrician just by checking your light bulbs and replacing them where necessary. 


Check Your Air Filters 


The air filters in your home can be easily neglected and be a big problem in the home inspection process. Even if a filter looks a little gray, take the time to replace it. You should check your air filters and furnace filters for any potential problems like tears or excess dirt. For bonus points, you may want to just replace the filters before the inspection no matter how little dirt they have on them. Otherwise, a clogged filter can be a sign that your furnace or heating and cooling system isn’t working properly. 


Check Your Sinks


A few dollars spent on some drain unclogging chemicals is a few hundred dollars potentially saved on a plumber. Fill up your sinks with water and see how they drain. If they’re a bit slow, get the chemicals that you need to work on unclogging the drains (such as Drain-o). If there’s a funny smell coming from the drain, be sure to address it. Lemons also work wonders on everything from drains to garbage disposals. Even some baking soda and vinegar can help to clean a drain wonderfully. 


Fix Major Repairs Before Your Home Goes On The Market


If you know something pressing needs to be fixed or replaced in your home, be sure to fix it before the home even goes on the market. It’s much easier to take care of things before a buyer’s contingency and a time limit is involved. Although you may be hesitant to spend the money, you should replace certain appliances, fix the roof, or address that creaky floor before the “For Sale” sign even goes out front.


If you recently submitted an offer on a house and received a "Yes" from the seller, you likely will need to schedule a home inspection in the next few days or weeks. Ultimately, an inspection can make or break a house sale, so you'll want to plan for this evaluation accordingly.

Fortunately, there are several steps that a homebuyer can follow to plan for an inspection, and these are:

1. Find an Expert Home Inspector

All home inspectors are not created equal. And if you make a poor selection, you risk missing out on potential home problems that could prove to be costly and time-intensive down the line.

Before you schedule a home inspection, evaluate the home inspectors in your area. That way, you can find an expert home inspector who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assess a residence.

Reach out to a variety of home inspectors and ask for client referrals. Then, you can contact home inspectors' past clients to better understand whether a home inspector can match or exceed your expectations.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you find a qualified home inspector. In addition to helping you buy a home, this housing market professional can put you in touch with top-rated home inspectors in your city or town.

2. Make a Home Inspection Checklist

When it comes to preparing for a home inspection, it usually pays to be diligent. Thus, you'll want to put together a checklist beforehand to ensure that you know exactly which areas of a house that you want to examine.

A home inspection checklist may emphasize looking at a house's roof, heating and cooling system and much more. Also, it may be worthwhile to include questions to ask a home inspector in your checklist. This will ensure that you can receive comprehensive support from a home inspector throughout your house evaluation.

3. Consider the Best- and Worst-Case Home Inspection Scenarios

Although you'd like to believe that a home that you want to buy is in perfect or near-perfect condition, an inspection may reveal a wide range of problems. However, if you prepare for the best- and worst-case home inspection situations, you can increase the likelihood of staying calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful post-home inspection scenario.

If a home inspection reveals that there are no major issues with a house, you're likely good to go with your home purchase. Next, a home appraisal may need to be completed, and you'll be on your way to finalizing your transaction.

Conversely, if various problems are discovered during a home inspection, you may need to reconsider your home purchase. In this scenario, you may want to ask a seller to perform home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, you can always walk away from a home purchase as well.

If you need extra help preparing for a home inspection, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance that you need to conduct a successful home inspection.


Buying your beginning home is one of the significant steps you will make in your life. It can be both exciting and daunting, which cause many first-time home buyers to grab the first home that falls within their budget quickly and others get themselves stuck in a mortgage that they will pay for a better part of the life. Real estate advertisement doesn't make it any easier. Well, you can relax now. Here are six helpful tips to alleviate the burden and mistakes involved in buying your first home.

1. First Things First, Be Prepared. As overwhelming as it seems, you must take a moment to get yourself ready before delving into the first-time home buying process. Take a moment and consider the type of home you want, the amount of money available for the purchase, and the amount of mortgage for which you qualify. You also should figure out how you want to go about the search. Do you need a real estate agent? Do not begin the home-buying process until you satisfy these conditions. 2. Carefully Scout for Your Dream Home. The process of searching for your dream home can be very challenging, which is why I advise first-time home buyers to explore thoroughly. Some home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, give up the search after the second tour. They resolve to rent or settling for just about any home on their list. To alleviate the frustration and stress that comes with the search, employ the service of a real estate agent. You could also search for listings online and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Do not do it yourself. 3. What Financing Options are Available in Your State? Although the program varies by state, every first-time home buyer has a couple of financing options to help them purchase their dream home. It is best to consult with your real estate agent for a suitable financing option. 4. Don’t be Scared to Negotiate the Offer. A common mistake seen among first-time home buyers is that they tend to compare the prices of houses at different locations. That is wrong! The locality of any home has a tremendous influence on its pricing. As a first-time home buyer, it is safest to ask your real estate agent for help. The agent is vastly knowledgeable in the field, as such, is in a better position to conclude the sale at a reasonable price. 5. A Home Inspection is Compulsory! Require a home inspection regardless of how flawless the home appears. Be sure to have a professional inspect every nook and cranny of the house before closing the deal. If you find faults that the seller willingly withheld during bargain the sale could fall through. You could also ask the seller to make repairs to seal the deal. 6. Close the Deal or Move on to the Next Home. There are two options available after inspection. You either close the deal or continue your search for your dream home. If the home inspection went well (that is you like what you saw), then it is time to close the deal. Congratulations on your first home!

A home inspection often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. If an inspection shows that there are no underlying problems with a house, you should have no trouble moving forward with a home purchase. On the other hand, if an inspection reveals a variety of structural problems with a house, you may need to reconsider your purchase decision.

Ultimately, a homebuyer who knows what to expect during a home inspection can plan accordingly. This buyer also may be better equipped than others to accept the results of an inspection and make an informed choice about whether to move forward with a home purchase.

What does it take to achieve the best-possible results during a home inspection? To find out, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can prep for a house inspection.

1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector

There is no shortage of home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. However, employing an expert home inspector will require you to conduct an in-depth search.

When it comes to finding an expert home inspector, it pays to search far and wide. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of identifying major and minor house issues during an inspection.

2. Assess Every Area of a House

Oftentimes, a home inspection takes several hours to complete, and for good reason. In order to fully evaluate a residence, you'll want to be diligent. That way, you can minimize the risk of missing potential problems as you perform a home assessment.

As you walk through your house with an inspector, don't hesitate to ask questions too. In fact, a home inspector may be able to provide insights into home problems and repairs that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you find your dream house, as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, this housing market professional likely will walk through a house with you during an inspection to ensure you can get the support you need to make an informed homebuying decision.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to consult with you before and after a home inspection. Prior to an inspection, a real estate agent will help you put together a plan to assess a house. Meanwhile, after an inspection, a real estate agent can discuss the inspection results with you and help you determine the best course of action.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. This housing market professional can help you streamline your search for your dream house, submit a competitive offer on a residence and ensure you can purchase a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

A home inspection may seem daunting at first. Luckily, if you plan ahead for a home inspection, you can use the assessment to gain the insights that you need to determine whether a house is right for you.