#8 The Home Inspection

Once you and the seller have agreed upon price, you are ready for a formal inspection of your potential home to detect defects or problems. Typically, a clause in the sales contract states that the offer is contingent upon a home inspection.

A home inspection typically takes between 2-4 hours depending on the size of the home and the number of rooms, features and amenities. Many potential problems can be uncovered during the inspection.

The home will be evaluated from the foundation to the rooftop and will include, where appropriate, the functionality of the heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and all appliances. The inspector will look at the home's structure including the foundation, basement, roof, chimney, walls, doors and windows.

If you do not know of a qualified inspection company, ask your real estate professional for a referral. The inspector should be able to provide you with a sample report to show that they follow industry standards. Note that the job of the inspector is to simply inspect, not to repair or to refer clients to repair companies, which could result in a conflict of interest.

When you schedule your appointment with the home inspection company, inform them that you will be present throughout the inspection process. Legitimate inspection companies will welcome your presence. This is the time to ask and share any issues that are of concern to you. In-person explanations will help you to understand the report, which can be fairly complex and lengthy—a thorough home inspection may cover as many as 1000-plus items. Your real estate agent will facilitate discussions and lead you through negotiations depending on what is found during this process.

Suburban Realty Professionals  ♦  Princeton Office  ♦  96 Wall Street  ♦  Princeton, NJ 08540  ♦  877-221-8787