The home inspection period is the toughest part of any real estate transaction. It could be a LOT smoother if sellers would be more proactive, but that is rarely the case. For example, before listing a home, a seller could have the heating and cooling systems serviced, have a wood-destroying insect inspection (very inexpensive), and even have their favorite roofer go over their roof to make sure it doesn’t need anything.
Do home sellers do this? Almost never. And it is worse now because it has been such a seller’s market for so long. All the burden is on the home buyers, who are paying more than ever. Just to get a home, many buyers are waiving inspection repairs. That doesn’t mean that buyers are waiving inspections; it just means that buyers are stating up front in their offers that they will not ask for any repairs resulting from their inspections.
As a home buyer, if you run across a home that has been pre-inspected in any way, know that you are dealing with a great seller and/or listing agent. I have every one of my listings pre-inspected; it is the right thing to do.
A home purchase is a big deal and you worry about what you are getting into. There are a lot of different kinds of inspections you can do, and it will cost you over $1,000 if you did them all. Then what happens if problems are found? First of all, some problems are always found. You can back out of the contract or you can hope the seller will do the important repairs. But know that the sellers do not have to do anything--they can simply cancel and move on to the next buyer. (Our sales contracts state that sellers must treat for termites, if found, though.)
Make sure you are getting expert advice. Friends and family who have not bought a home recently will not understand the current real estate market.
Most buyers have the first three or four inspections on this list. The other inspections are usually only done if your home inspector indicates the need.