When should a buyer complete their home inspections?

A common question that The Barker Team is often asked by buyers is “When do we complete our inspections – before or after we go into contract on a home?”.    Inspections are a very important aspect of buying a home and we will share with you when inspections are completed, the common types of inspections in Central Ohio, and the average costs for these inspections.

When we represent a buyer, we always include an inspection contingency in the purchase contract unless the buyer chooses to waive it.  Depending on various factors, the inspection contingency is typically between 7-15 days after entering into contract.  It is important to first go into contract, and then have inspections completed which is the reason for the inspection contingency.  We wouldn’t ever recommend a buyer pay for inspections without first knowing they have reached a written agreement with the seller on purchase terms.

Once a purchase contract has been executed containing an inspection contingency, we work closely with the buyer to get all the inspections they wish to complete scheduled.  Inspections are optional and do not have anything to do with the buyer’s loan.  Although optional, we highly recommend inspections because no home is perfect!  The inspectors are trained to look the home over closely and conduct specific tests.  They are going to cover areas that most buyers, and we as agents are not going to be able to access such as the roof, attic, crawl space, etc.  A buyer may opt to have all recommended inspections completed, or just some of them.  A buyer may also use any inspection company they wish to use.  Some buyers know an inspector, but many rely on the guidance from their agent.  We have a list of professionals that have taken exceptional care of many of our past clients that we are happy to provide to our buyer clients.  They can then determine which inspectors are the best fit for them based on what they offer, scheduling, pricing, etc.

The sky is the limit on what inspections a buyer can have completed, but there are several that are very commonly completed here locally.  They are as follows:

General home inspection – the inspector will look the home over inside and outside including all of the major components and systems of the home.  Home inspections range from $250-400.

Wood destroying insect inspection – often referred to as a “termite inspection”.  These inspectors are licensed by the state of Ohio and check for all forms of wood destroying insects including, but not limited to termites, carpenter ants, and powder post beetles.  This test ranges from $50-100

Radon Inspection – Radon is a colorless odorless gas that comes out of the ground.  It is very common in Central Ohio.  The test takes about 48 hours to complete.  It ranges from $120-200

Well & septic inspections – This only applies to homes that have a well and/or septic.  The well test for bacteria in the well water and takes 48-72 hours to get results.  The septic is completed when the inspector visits the property & tests to see if the system is working properly.  These tests range from $70-100 each on average.

On occasion one of these inspectors will recommend the buyer obtain further testing or evaluation if they find an issue that is beyond the scope of their expertise.  A common example of this is when a home inspector notices signs of structural problems they will recommend a structural engineer is consulted which is someone who specializes in structural problems and the remedy of these problems.

By the end of the inspection contingency, the buyer must have their inspections and notify the seller if they are asking for any repairs or terminating their contract based on their findings.

In addition to an inspection contingency, we recommend an Agreement to Remedy period which is an agreed upon time frame immediately following the inspection contingency in which the buyer & seller negotiate any repair items the buyer requested.  This time frame is typically very short, and the agreed upon remedy work is typically completed prior to closing.

Again, inspections are a very important aspect of buying a home!  It is imperative to have a good Realtor guiding you through each step of the buying process, including inspections!  The Barker Team agents are experienced and strive to help their buyer’s have a very safe, secure buying process from start to finish!

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