You’ve finally got an offer on your house or you just went into contract on the house you want to buy.


The only thing that stands in the way of closing the deal is the home inspection. But if the inspector finds something big, who is going to pay to have it taken care of?

Know what to expect and you’ll be much better off.

Home Inspection How-To

According to a joint study by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nearly four out of every five homes sold in the nation are evaluated by a professional home inspector before they are sold. Hired by the homebuyer, these inspections are designed to protect the buyers from investing in a home that turns out to be a real life money pit. For sellers, understanding the inspection process and preparing your home for the inevitable evaluation not only helps to ensure that the transaction goes through, but can often translate into getting a top-dollar selling price as well.

Nearly all purchase contracts for homes sold today include an inspection contingency clause, a provision to allow the buyers to hire a home inspector of their choosing to thoroughly evaluate the home for any major problems. Once the contract has been signed, inspections usually happen quickly. After an appointment is made with the seller, the home inspector arrives with buyer in tow, and goes through the entire house. Typically, a home inspection will take two to three hours and include a check of the home’s structural and mechanical condition. But besides the structural and mechanical inspection, inspectors may also do tests for radon gas, lead base paint, gas leaks, well contamination, a properly working septic system, and check for wood destroying insects, or perform other services requested by the buyer. FYI: Home inspectors are not structural engineers, so if home inspector finds a source of concern they may call for a structural certification from a licensed structural engineer. This cost can vary from $200. to $500. and most times the buyer will want the seller to pay this cost.

What happens next is usually detailed in the inspection contingency clause. There could be additional negotiations between buyer and seller if problems are found. In most cases, the difference between what a buyer expected going into the transaction and what was actually uncovered by the inspection, defines the scope of what they might ask the seller to fix. For example, the buyers may have known the roof is old, so a report detailing a roof in need of replacement might not raise eyebrows. However, if they expected to get through their first winter without buying a brand new furnace, which turns out to be needed, sellers can expect a request to toss one into the transaction. In a best-case scenario, resolving these disputes is best done by sharing the expense. After all, the seller didn’t promise a home with a brand new furnace and the buyer wasn’t expecting to go 20 years without replacing the existing one. Splitting the cost in a case like this is a fair and reasonable way to resolve the issue. For more information on finding home inspectors in your area ask RJ or visit:

As always, I am happy to provide this information to you. Knowledge is the foundation for a smooth transaction.

RJ Wise

Member of:
CENTURY 21 Bob McElroy Realty

Mount Gilead, OH   -  419.947.9540