Margo Delaney | Cambridge Real Estate, Arlington Real Estate, Belmont Real Estate


A home inspection is a crucial part of the homebuying process. At this point, a home inspector will walk through a house with you and examine the property inside and out. If a home inspector identifies underlying problems with a residence, these issues could put your purchase in jeopardy. On the other hand, if a home inspection reveals that there are no major problems with a residence, you may feel comfortable proceeding with a purchase.

Ultimately, how a homebuyer approaches a property inspection can have far-flung effects. For those who want to achieve the best-possible home inspection results, we're here to help you get ready for a house inspection.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure you know exactly how to approach a house inspection.

1. Prepare for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

Regardless of how a home inspection turns out, you need to be ready. That way, you'll have a plan in place to act quickly, even in the worst-case scenario.

In the best-case scenario after a house inspection, you likely will take a step forward in your quest to complete a home purchase. Conversely, in the worst-case scenario following a home inspection, you may rescind your offer to purchase a house and reenter the real estate market.

It also is important to remember that you can always walk away from a house sale if an inspection reveals there are significant problems with a residence. For a homebuyer, it is paramount to feel comfortable with a house after an inspection. If a home raises lots of red flags during an inspection, a buyer should have no trouble removing his or her offer to purchase a house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

A home inspector is a property expert who can provide insights into the condition of a residence. Thus, you should rely on this property expert as much as possible.

Don't hesitate to discuss a home with an inspector. Because if you ask lots of questions during a home inspection, you may be able to receive comprehensive property insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

3. Analyze the Inspection Results Closely

Following a home inspection, you'll receive a report that details a property inspector's findings. Review this report closely, and if you have follow-up questions about it, reach out to the inspector that provided the report.

Lastly, as you look for ways to streamline the homebuying journey, you should work with a knowledgeable real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your city or town. Plus, if you want to request home repairs or a reduced price on a house after an inspection, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides at other points in the homebuying journey, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to them at your convenience.

Prepare for a home inspection, and you can use this evaluation to gain the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision.


Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).

In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether you’re buying or selling a home.

Home inspections for buyers

There’s a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much you’re willing to offer on a home, or if you’re willing to make an offer at all.

Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.

Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.

Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.

Home inspections for sellers

As we’ve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.

If you’re planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You don’t want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.

So, whether you’re a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home you’re planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if you’re a buyer. Or, if you’re a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.


If this is your first home sale, you might be wondering about what your requirements are in terms of home inspections. A vital step in the closing process, professional home inspections are typically included in real estate contracts as a contingency (the sale is dependent upon their completion).

But, are there any situations in which a seller would get a home inspection?

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about why sellers might want to get their home inspection and how it could be useful to the home sale process overall.

To diagnose problems with your home

When you’re deciding on the asking price of your home, you’ll want to take into account all of the things that could potentially drive that price down. Inspectors will look for a number of issues in your home, which can save you from any surprises when a potential buyer orders their inspection of your home.

The further along in the home sale process when you discover an expensive repair that needs to be made, the more complicated it makes your home sale.

So, if you’re in any doubt about whether your home will need repairs now or in the near future, ordering an inspection could be a safe option.

What do inspectors look for?

When inspecting your home, a licensed professional will look at several things:

  • Exterior components of your home, such as cracks or broken seals on exterior surfaces, garage door function and safety, and so on.

  • The structural integrity of your home; checking your foundation for dangerous cracks where moisture can enter and cause damage in the form of mold or breaks in the foundation.

  • The roof of your home will be checked for things like broken or loose shingles or nearby tree branches that could damage your home or nearby power lines in a storm.

  • The HVAC system will be tested to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently and also that vents are clean and clear of debris.

  • Interior components of your home will be checked for safety and damage from things like pests and water damage.

Will the seller still order an inspection if my home just had one?

An inspection contingency is built into almost all real estate contracts to protect the interests of the buyer and seller alike.

In most circumstances, a buyer will want to get their own inspection performed. After all, they don’t know who you went to for an inspection and whether they were licensed in your state.

The bottom line

Ultimately, if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future and aren’t sure if your home may have any underlying issues, it’s usually a good idea to get an inspection to make sure you can plan for any repairs or inform potential buyers of any issues with your home.


The sellers of your home will not be present during a home inspection. It constitutes a conflict of interest. In fact, in some cases, you may never actually get to meet the occupants of a home you’re considering buying. There’s ways that you can get in touch with the sellers. That’s through your realtor. It is a good idea to ask the sellers of a home plenty of questions that may concern you. It will help you to make a more informed final decision on the home you’re considering buying. Getting these answers also can help you to know what to expect once you actually live in the home. Unless you’re buying a short sale or a foreclosure property, you’ll have likely have this opportunity to ask questions.  Most of the things that you’ll ask the seller will be a bit more open-ended. Here’s some ideas of what you might want to ask the sellers of a home:


Have you ever had water in your basement?


While the home inspection can reveal traces of mold and mildew, the fact that water comes into the basement on a regular basis is a problem. Other questions related to this would be, “Do you have a sump pump?” If there are any major signs of water damage, you can ask that it be repaired before you even buy the home.


Have you had any structural problems repaired? Are there any cracks in the walls?


The seller will answer these questions honestly, allowing you to better assess the condition of the home. 



Has your roof ever leaked? When was the last time the roof was replaced?


The typical roof on a home lasts about 25-30 years. If the roof was replaced more recently, you won’t have to worry about it for years to come. The home inspection will also reveal a lot about the roof and any water damage that may have occurred.


How do the heating and cooling systems work in the home? How much do you typically spend on these utilities?


You should find out from the occupants how well the heating and cooling systems work in the home and if there are any problems that have been found. You can also get an idea from the previous owners of how much money you can expect to spend on gas, oil, and electricity in the home. Your home inspector will also give the heating and or cooling systems a good inspection and let you know if he sees any potential problems with the unit.  


Have you made any recent improvements to the home?


A bonus to any home purchase is if a seller has made any major recent upgrades to the home. Everything that the sellers have done from replacing windows to updating the kitchen to replacing the roof is all things that you won’t have to worry about until a much later date. 


Asking questions during a home inspection is always a great idea. It’s also even better if you get an idea of the condition of the home from the sellers themselves. The bottom line is that when you’re buying a home, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions!




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