These days, particularly with so many foreclosures on the market, ordering an inspection when you’ve made an offer is not only recommended, it’s critical. Otherwise, you’re relying on the seller (in some cases, the bank) to provide you with a list of defects.
An inspection provides an objective report about the home’s exterior, interior, and “internal organs” – the wiring, the plumbing, the heating and cooling system, etc. While your agent may supply a list of recommended inspectors, you are free to select any professional you wish.
The seller and their representative will not see the report without your permission. The inspection of a 2,000 square foot home should take two to three hours to complete, and once the report has been delivered to you, you can discuss the findings with the inspector.
Expect your home inspector to walk the roof and explore the attic and crawlspace (if present). Electrical panels, outlets and switches will be tested. Drains, water pressure, toilets and pipes will all be checked in the plumbing system. Walls, ceilings and floors will be inspected and all the doors and windows will be checked for functionality.
All the items in the report will depend on the particular home’s features, but the findings give you an opportunity to estimate repair costs and renegotiate your offer. Never bypass this critical aspect of a purchase.