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Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

James Furlo1 year ago

Most people acknowledge the importance of a home inspection, but not everyone understands who is responsible for the bill.

A home inspection is typically paid by whoever benefits from the inspection. In most cases, this is the homebuyer, so the buyer pays for the home inspection.

In some instances, the home seller will get their homes pre-inspected to uncover - and usually fix - any defects before listing the property for sale. In that case, the seller will pay for the home inspection.

Even if the seller provides a pre-listing home inspection, we still recommended the buyer order another home inspection. It's not that you can't trust a pre-listing inspection, but it's primarily to verify all the issues were repaired correctly and document any remaining defects for future repairs or negotiations.

Furthermore, real estate agents do not pay for the home inspection. The realtor might suggest one to three inspectors they trust. They might also help coordinate a time for the inspector to inspect the property. However, it's the buyer who will purchase the report, own the final report, and have a direct relationship with the home inspector.

When You Should Order a Home Inspection

A Few Good Men - I want the truth on a home inspection

You want to order the home inspection immediately after getting an accepted offer and opening escrow. You usually have a limited amount of time - only ten business days! - to complete your due diligence, including evaluating the home's condition via the home inspection. It can take a few days to schedule a time for the inspectors to visit the property, which is why you want to order it as soon as possible.

Since the due diligence time period is brief, you also want to take advantage of other tools to help you move quickly. For example:

  • Majordomo provides repair estimates within 24 hours.
  • When is Good can help you coordinate a time with multiple people.
  • Technically, this isn't a tool, but let your boss know you're buying a house and that you might need to duck out of the office for a bit to meet someone.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

Plant growing from money to buy a home inspection
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Several factors affect the cost of a home inspection. They include the location, size & age of the home. According to the American Society of Home Inspections (ASHI):

"As with most things in the house buying process, they aren't cheap. You can expect to pay between $300 and $1000, though there are many factors that could influence this. Where you live has a significant bearing on the price of a home inspection."

And, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

"Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made."

You can expect the typical range to be $300-$500, but it might go as high as $1,000 if the house is larger, older, or in a high cost of living area. You can also order additional specialty inspections, like a sewer scope or a radon test that could be as much as $200 each.

The inspection includes a detailed report on the entire home. It will address the foundation, the roof, and all the systems in-between. Based on the inspection, the buyer may choose to accept the condition as-is, terminate the contract, or negotiate with the seller for repairs or price concessions.

Hiring a home inspector

Not all home inspections are the same because the home inspection itself is not a standardized process. There are around 35,000 home inspectors using over 30 different software systems to conduct their inspections without much standardization. Yes, most states have license and insurance requirements (but not all), and some states and national organizations mandate standards of practice. But, the reality is that there is little conformity or monitored compliance.

Some home inspectors will do the minimum work required to complete a home inspection. However, many home inspectors go above and beyond the minimum requirements to deliver an extraordinary home inspection. Your goal is to find a fantastic home inspector who will go above and beyond.

To find one, you want to do your research. Start by checking reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Then, call them and interview them. Download our free guide that shows you how to find a great inspector, and avoid the five biggest home inspection mistakes.

Main photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

James Furlo

Majordomo COO & co-founder, multi-family real estate investor, and former HP big data analyst. Interested in tech, real estate, and math.

About Majordomo

Majordomo created the Domoreport.

The Domoreport is the most in-depth report on a home’s condition ever created, yet it’s easy to read and you can quickly figure out exactly what your buyers need to know. It’s the new standard for helping home buyers quickly understand the condition of their home with local and highly accurate repair estimates based on their inspection.

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