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How Much Does a House Inspection Cost — And Who Pays?

If you’re asking “how much is a home inspection?” you might be considering skipping one. Ask most experienced real estate agents and they’ll tell you otherwise. Here’s what you need to know about how much they cost and who is going to pay.
If you’re asking “how much is a home inspection?” you might be considering skipping one. Ask most experienced real estate agents and they’ll tell you otherwise. Here’s what you need to know about how much they cost and who is going to pay.

While you might think that you can buy or sell your home without a professional to negotiate, most homeowners would disagree with you. Getting a home inspection can prepare sellers for the market and buyers for what kinds of problems a home has.

Here’s everything you need to know about inspections, how much they cost, and who is going to pay for them.

Why Should Buyers Get a Home Inspection?

When you’re buying a house, you’re going to want to look at your home from top to bottom. It’s smart to make sure that there are no major issues with the home before you invest what could be your life savings into it. However, unless you’ve got a background in home inspections, you shouldn’t try to figure out the major issues on your own.

First, any financial institution worth its salt is going to have you hire an inspector and an appraiser to make sure the home is worth as much as the seller claims. They don’t want you defaulting on a home that you had to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into just to make it liveable.

Also, getting an inspection can lead to a lower selling price. Once the home is in your possession, all of its problems rest on your shoulders. If you take the time to have an inspection done, you can get seller credits taken from the price to cover repairs to major issues like the foundation, HVAC, electrical, or roofing.

The inspection will cover crawl spaces, attics, closets, and every square inch of the home and its surrounding area.

Why Should Sellers Get a Home Inspection?

Before putting a home on the market, it’s a good idea to have it inspected. There could be issues that live below the surface that you either have gotten used to or never noticed.

Inspectors can find issues like water damage or mold. While water damage is mostly structural, the mold that usually follows can be harmful to the health of you or your buyer. Expect to pay over $2,000 to solve these issues and a few hundred more if the issue is plumbing related.

When you’re trying to seal the deal on your home, major issues stemming from your roof or your foundation could take a huge bite out of profits. A new roof or repairs to a foundation are going to cost more than a few thousand dollars and easily as much as $10,000.

While you might want to leave these issues to your buyer, you need to price your home accordingly if these issues are present. By telling your buyer about them in advance, you’ll build trust between the two of you.

What Does an Inspection Cost?

Ultimately, the cost of an inspection is based on how large your home is.

The average cost of a home inspection is around $300. Most inspectors are going to charge a flat fee for homes under a certain square footage. Then you’ll be charged more for every 1,000 square feet your home has.

Inspectors will vary from state to state and can go as high as $500. While this might seem like a lot to spend to have someone look around your home, the value should be clear.

For someone buying a home, an inspection can be a hurdle to funding and can ensure that you aren’t getting ripped off. For sellers, you’re paying to have someone look at things you might not notice or don’t know how to diagnose. For both parties, it sets fair pricing and keeps everything transparent.

If you’re buying or selling in a very hot real estate market, expect to pay more for your inspection, as inspectors can do their own bit of price inflation in these cases.

Who’s Going to Pay?

Figuring out who is going to foot the bill for this is just one of many details that need to get worked out between both parties. In most cases, after the buyer accepts the offer and the house is put into escrow, they’ll pay for the inspection.

Homeowners are usually more happy about their decision to get an inspection. They’re a necessity and most homeowners will be able to avoid potential problems by getting one. Paying for a home inspection will unlock potential seller credits, which can help buyers to get an even better deal.

Most experienced real estate agents will recommend that sellers get an inspection before they list their home. It keeps everyone more informed before the negotiations begin and build goodwill between all parties.

How Much is a Home Inspection Going to Matter?

If you’re working with an experienced local agent, you’ll find that they’re going to highly recommend that you get a home inspection as a buyer or a seller. They know the value of being informed about how much a home is worth before sitting down at the negotiating table.

An experienced local agent will know what the most common issues in the region are and how to deal with them if they come up.If a home has issues found during an inspection, our Clever Partner Agents are your best bet for negotiating the price in your favor.


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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