What do home inspectors do?

Before you sign on the dotted line, you should have an understanding of the current condition of the property you intend to purchase. A buyer can order a home inspection report to identify potential problems and then negotiate any repairs necessary before the sale is final.

Typically, for a flat fee, a home inspector spends one to three hours reviewing the interior, exterior, and major systems of a home. He or she will prepare a written report, and may include photos or videos.

The inspection will point out safety or potential barriers-to-purchase issues, such as sagging floors or an aging roof. However, the inspector can’t break through walls or pull up floors, and also may be unable to access certain areas. For an additional fee, special inspection equipment can look further.

A home inspection identifies items you may not have noticed about your home—and may well save you from making a big mistake.

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