The home inspection, as part of the Buyer's Due Diligence, is one of the most important steps in the home purchase process. As such, it is crucial that you educate yourself so that you can be prepared for what to expect. Consider the following:
1. The inspection and appraisal are not the same thing. They will occur at two different times during the transaction. The main purpose of an appraisal is to ensure value. Your lender will require you to get one to make sure that you (or they) are not overpaying for the home. A home inspection is done to evaluate the physical condition of the property and to reveal any major defects in the structure.
2. In the state of Utah, there currently is no licensing for home inspectors. Yes, that means anyone can claim that they are a home inspector. So do your research. Make sure that the company or inspector is reputable and has experience to back them up. Ask if he or she regularly participates in CE classes to make sure that their skills and knowledge are up to date. Ask your Realtor for recommendations.
3. A home inspection is not required by law. The buyer has the option, should they so chose, to forego the inspection. However, this is not recommended.
4. Any repairs that are suggested in the inspection are not required to be made by seller. All repairs are negotiable. The sellers can refuse to make any repairs. Though not common, the buyer should prepare themselves for this possibility.
5. Expect the inspection to take between 2-5 hours and cost $300-$500 depending on the size of the home.
6. Find out what the inspection covers. Compare this to different home inspectors and find one that will cover all you feel is necessary. Know that there are some things that cannot be inspected due to the time of year, e.g. the A/C during the winter.