No sale of residential property should go through without a home inspection taking place first. Do not allow the home inspection cost to deter you; otherwise, you may overpay for a property with major issues.
Thanks to the inspection, you will discover if the property is as good as advertised. However, if the property has issues, it is best to know about them early. Also, you can use the findings uncovered by the inspection for leverage in your negotiations.
Learn more about home inspections, how much they cost, and other relevant matters by continuing with this article.
How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?
Let’s get right to the topic at hand right away. Nationwide, the average home inspection cost is around $400. Home inspections cost a bit more in Rhode Island. Expect to pay $500 for a professional inspection.
Those are the general numbers to remember while sorting out your expenses. Of course, several factors will affect how much your specific inspection will cost.
The Location of the Home
The first cost factor to consider is the location of the property you are buying. We have already noted that home inspection costs are a bit more expensive in Rhode Island relative to the rest of the country.
Inspection fees do not only vary at the state level. You may also find that the inspection costs may fluctuate from one city to another. Ask your buying agent about the home inspection costs in their area so you have a better idea of what to expect.
The Age of the Home
The property’s age also impacts home inspection costs. Generally speaking, inspectors need more time to examine older properties thoroughly. That is why inspection costs tend to be higher for those homes.
The Size of the Home
Property size also affects inspection prices. Thankfully, the price difference between inspecting a property that covers 2,000 square feet and one that spans 3,000 square feet is not that big. You are probably looking at a gap of around $40 at most.
Considering property size’s marginal impact on inspection costs, you should not let that keep you from pushing forward with your plans.
A home inspection is supposed to be thorough. It should cover every important part of the home, including the foundation, HVAC system, and plumbing.
However, certain tests are not included in conventional home inspections. These tests mainly check if the home contains potential hazards. Specific hazards an inspector can test for include termites, mice, radon, and asbestos.
The original homeowner should tell you if those hazards plague the property if they have been living there. However, they may not offer that type of assurance if they have not resided in the property for a while.
You should discuss these special inspections with the seller. Ask them if they are willing to foot the inspection bill. You may want to reconsider your offer if they are unwilling to pay for the special inspections.
The Credentials of the Home Inspectors
Lastly, the home inspection cost may vary based on the inspectors you are hiring. According to the Department of Agriculture, home buyers should only hire inspectors certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI).
Members of those organizations are professionally trained and adhere to high standards. They understand how to evaluate a home properly. They give their clients comprehensive reports to make highly informed decisions.
A home inspector who is not certified by either organization may entice you with a more affordable inspection offer. However, it would be unwise to entertain their offer. Those meager savings are not worth the potential risk you must take on.
Who Will Pay for the Home Inspection?
Now that you know how much the home inspection will cost, let’s tackle who will pay for it. Thus far, you have probably assumed that the buyer pays for the inspection.
That assumption would be correct. In most cases, the home buyer pays for the inspection so they can find out everything they can about the property as soon as possible.
However, the buyer is not always required to pay for the home inspection. Instead, the home inspection cost is something you can negotiate with the seller.
If you do not have the money ready to pay for the inspection, you can ask the seller to cover it. You can pay them back when you finalize the purchase of the property.
As we noted earlier, you can also insist that the seller pays for the inspection, or you will change your offer. Deploying this negotiating tactic may be necessary if you want the seller to pay for more expensive special inspection fees.
When Should You Get the Home Inspection?
The home inspection is an important stage of the buying process, but when should it be completed?
Technically, there is no required timeframe for the home inspection. However, you can request an inspection early in the process to ensure the property is as good as it looks. Even if the inspection produces disappointing results, you will have enough time to reconsider your offer.
Still, there is a typical time when buyers request home inspections. According to this article from Michigan State University, the home inspection usually occurs when both buyer and seller have signed a purchase contract but before the sale is closed. If you reach that point in the negotiations, the seller will likely expect you to bring up the home inspection topic.
Can You Back Out of a Purchase Agreement after a Home Inspection?
Following the inspection, the people you hired may provide a less-than-stellar property assessment. For example, they may note significant issues with the roof and electrical system that require fixing, or the property may soon become unsafe.
So, what can you do at that point? Since you have already signed the purchase agreement, do you have any way to back out of the deal?
Your options depend on the terms of your purchase agreement. All purchase agreements should come with an inspection contingency.
The inspection contingency clause in the agreement gives the buyer different options if the inspection yields poor results. Thanks to the inspection contingency, you may have the opportunity to request repairs as a condition of finalizing the purchase. It may also allow the buyer to renegotiate the deal for a lower price.
In some cases, the inspection contingency may even allow the buyer to back out of the deal entirely without penalties.
Any reputable buying agent will ensure that an inspection contingency is in your purchase agreement. They will also check the length of the inspection contingency. Typically, it should give the buyer 7 to 10 days to consider their options after they complete the inspection.
That inspection contingency can prove to be a lifesaver. Do not sign your purchase agreement until they include that clause.
How Do You Find a Home Inspector?
Finding a home inspector should not be that difficult. Or at least it should not be if you know which resources to tap into.
You can start your search by talking to your friends and family members in the area. Odds are they hired home inspectors before closing the sales on their homes. Ask them who they hired and include them in your list of candidates to interview.
Of course, not everyone has people they know in their new neighborhood. If so, you can ask your buying agent for inspector recommendations. Your buying agent may even give you a few names to consider before you ask for suggestions.
After putting together your list of home inspectors, you can go through the interview process. During the interview, you should confirm your candidates’ credentials. You should also check if they are insured because you do not want to be liable for accidents.
Check online as well and see what their client reviews say. While you are at it, request references from your candidates so you can go directly to their previous clients.
It would be wise to hire a home inspector before you sign the purchase agreement. That way, you can proceed with the home inspection as soon as the agreement is signed.
Is a Home Inspection the Same as a Home Appraisal?
One last thing we wanted to cover in this article is the difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal.
The purpose of a home inspection is to ascertain the property’s current condition. The inspection report will tell you how structurally sound the property is and any issues that may need addressing sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, a home appraisal determines the value of a property. Although the number provided by the appraiser is an estimate, the buyer and seller can still use it as a reference point while negotiating.
Also, a lender may require a buyer to get a home appraisal before approving a loan. The lender may set that condition to ensure they are not entering a bad deal.
We at RI Home Store can introduce you to the top home inspectors in Rhode Island. We will also help you navigate every step of the buying process. Contact us today if you need the services of an expert buying agent!