Reasons to Schedule a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

Home Inspection

After a home purchase offer enters the contract phase, the buyer’s checkbook remains open. Numerous expenses, including attorney and realtor fees, have buyers looking for ways to cut costs. Many are tempted to skip the inspection, but that’s not always the best choice. Here, we’ll outline the basics of home inspections and list a few reasons to schedule an inspection before buying a home.

How Does a Home Inspection Work?

Inspection contingencies are common additions to home purchase contracts. A contingency gives the buyer the right to schedule an inspection before closing, and allows them to learn about a home’s history before buying.

As the buyer, you should attend the inspection, as should your agent, the sellers, and their team. It’s best to follow the inspector as they take photos and notes, asking them to point out concerns as they’re found.

It’s equally vital for the buyer to be around for the inspection because a qualified inspector will demonstrate basic maintenance tasks like HVAC filter changes and answer your questions. After a home inspection, you’ll receive a verbal report of the inspector’s findings and get a detailed written report within a few days.

It’s Cost-Effective

Home inspections may cost a few hundred dollars, depending on a property’s location and size, but the expense becomes insignificant when you consider that a home inspection can uncover widespread and costly problems. Buying a home is expensive, and an inspection is a cost-effective way to ensure that you’re making a good investment.

It Offers a Way Out of a Bad Deal

A thorough inspection reveals crucial information about the structural and systemic condition of a home. This makes potential buyers aware of the repairs, expenses, and other things a home may need immediately and with time. If a purchaser isn’t comfortable with the inspection’s findings, it gives them a chance to rescind their offer.

Ensuring a Home’s Safety

Home inspections detect mold growth, carbon monoxide, radon, and other safety issues. When purchasing a home, be sure the contract mandates these tests. If it does not, you’ll likely be able to cancel the offer.

Revealing Potential Pest Infestation

Insect and rodent infestations can destroy homes. The risk of problems varies depending on a home’s location, but nearly all homes are susceptible. Numerous types of pests, including wood-boring insects like termites, powder post beetles, and carpenter ants, can create widespread problems if not detected early. 

Some inspections include insect and pest evaluations, and some do not. Be sure to ask your agent whether they know of any pest or home inspection companies that can ensure the pest-free condition of the home you’re thinking of buying.

Revealing Illegal Installations or Additions

Home inspections often reveal whether altered garages, basements, and rooms were done without permits or didn’t follow codes. If a home has an unpermitted room addition, its taxes, insurance, value, and usability are affected, as the buyer is purchasing something that wasn’t constructed according to the applicable codes. Even a new home with a system that wasn’t built to code will create expensive and time-consuming problems for a purchaser.

Protection for Purchasers

Pre-purchase inspections are essential when buying short sales and as-is foreclosed properties. A home that’s been unoccupied for an extended period is more likely to have mold problems, which pose health risks and are expensive to resolve. 

It is common for inspectors to discover that outdoor AC compressors and copper piping have been removed by scavengers, who sell them for their scrap value. An inspection will point out these issues and give a potential buyer pause when buying a distressed property.

Bargaining Power

Real estate agents say that home inspection reports give buyers a chance to request repairs and credits or price reductions from sellers. Work with your agent to determine which requests should be made, and you’ll walk away with a better deal.

Keeping Costs Under Control

Home inspectors can estimate the age of a home’s cooling, heating, and plumbing systems. They can accurately diagnose a dwelling’s structural condition and tell a buyer how long it’s been since fixtures were installed. With a pre-purchase inspection, you can decide whether issues like cracked ceilings and broken gutters are worth resolving.

Finding Deal-Breakers

Home inspections can help undecided buyers determine how much extra effort and money they’re able and willing to spend to get a home into livable condition. If you’re unwilling or unable to fix an issue, take your search elsewhere.

Protecting Your Investment

Home inspectors are a crucial educational resource. They can offer tips on home maintenance, point out potential problems, and help buyers save thousands in long-term costs.

Presenting a Bigger Picture

People often fall in love with properties based on location, style, and atmosphere, and they tend to gloss over issues that can create long-lasting and expensive problems. A home is the investment of a lifetime, and that is why many buyers use inspections to understand the nuances of the purchase.


Some homeowner’s insurance companies will not extend coverage if certain problems are found or certifications are not present. A qualified home inspector can provide detection and certification services during the inspection process, saving the buyer money, time, and hassles.


A home is a big investment, and the costs associated with such a purchase can be quite high. Reassurance is one of the best reasons to schedule an inspection when purchasing a home.

The purpose of an inspection is to ensure a home’s safety and structural integrity. By declining the opportunity to schedule a home inspection, you may create unnecessary anxiety and stress. With an inspection, however, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with buying a safe and solid home.

The Takeaway

As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to get as many details as possible when buying a home. Pre-purchase inspections reveal the inner workings of homes, allowing buyers to learn about a dwelling’s benefits and drawbacks before signing on the dotted line.

Maintenance is just one of a homeowner’s many responsibilities. Once you’ve got a good report from the inspector, however, you’ll find that duty much easier to fulfill.

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