The extra fee’s a home buyer will encounter when buying real estate are known as closing costs and inspection items.
On this Real Estate article, we will cover the inspection fees, apart from closing costs. If you click on the light blue link “closing costs“, you’ll see my previous article explaining what closing costs are and how to potentially get the seller to ante up for them.
The real estate agent you choose, hopefully, me, does not charge a fee for service. This includes any home buyer, first time or veteran. I do not charge my home buyers a fee to represent them 100% and to be on their side in an “all in” fashion.
There have been changes to who paid, historically, for the termite inspection. It used to be the seller who paid an independent termite company to do the inspection. It changed because it appeared some “sellers” knew the termite inspection companies all too well, resulting in missed termite issues 🙁
The same change causes the “items discovered” to be negotiated by both the seller and buyer. This “negotiation” happens during the offer/counter-offer process. Be diligent and ask your agent who’s going to pay for what is discovered and why!
Today, the report is a buyer’s cost and has to be paid, in most cases, when services have been completed. The way I do it is I have my real estate buyers at the property when the termite inspector does the inspection. This is so my clients can be briefed as to what was found, the potential cost and possible remedy. This allows for questions that buyers have and for me to interact with the termite inspector with questions my knowledge and experience dictate should be asked for the buyer’s benefit.
The inspection fee is typically around $100.00. That would be a certified, bonded and insured company. That will also include a written report produced while you are present during the termite inspection, or sent later which is most cases. The termite report is typically multiple pages with markings showing what structures have termite issues. The report will also cover the cost to repair those termite items by that specific pest control company. By the way any of our vendors, or those whom you know and bring to the table, yes we don’t mind if you know someone in the business as long as their qualified, should not enter your email on a list where you will get spammed. This has happened before by an inspector who’s wife is also a Realtor. Figure that one out 🙂
The home inspection typically is conducted with the home buyer(s) present. I also encourage them to bring those closest from their support group to comment and add knowledge to the items the inspector discovers. Friends and Family can also cause harm and confuse the home buyer, unwittingly. Just be careful when you choose who will be there with you. We have home buyers who say, “I’d bring my dad, but he’s impossible and will not approve of anything!” I get that, I had one of those “dads”, so hence why Paris and I eloped 🙂
Any home inspector worth their sale will be putting together a report loaded with photos of the “issues” they discover. The home inspector will describe what the photo is about and have markings on the photos denoting the specific location of the issues. There will also be a lot of other information pertaining to the “condition” of systems within the home and tips on keeping those in prime working order. Maintenance is easy and inexpensive after things break it starts to be expensive and hard.
The home inspector you choose will also require payment after services are rendered. This can mostly be done by cash or check. Some are now getting the technology to do that transaction over their phone via a Credit Card dongle and service. Most are not and rely on a home buyer having the cash or a check. If you are paying in cash, a tip, ask for a discount after you get the cost of the inspection from the inspector.
Home inspectors know a lot of things on a superficial level. Some are experts about everything. Both types, if they see an issue, will recommend you to a specific expert in that field. One example is the roof. If they find an issue with the roof, they will show you a photo depicting the problem. They will then give you more information about how to keep the roof in good shape, Finally, the home inspector will say they are referring you to seek out a qualified roofing contractor for further investigation.
The same applies to Mold, Foundational Issues, Slope, etc – each of those items can be HUGE problems and are best further investigated by those experts. These are “additional” costs. Some contractors charge just to come out and to make a report. Some don’t. That’s why to call around to find out who is good and what their fees are.
Home inspectors should also be licensed, bonded and insured. They are not all created equal. We are here to be of assistance to you when making these decisions. I have encountered awesome inspectors and those who were just going through the motions. I have never let escrow close after a bad home inspection experience. I inform the home buyer of why I think they did a bad job and it’s up to the home buyer to confront the inspector and re-hire or they can let me do it. I want my home buyers to be protected and will do anything to make that happen.
The cost of a Home Inspection will depend on the size and location of the home. Ranges $350 – $1000 or more for estates.
If you are buying a property with a pool – hire a specific additional inspector for that who is only an expert in pools. Do this unless the home inspector unequivocally states they are also certified in pool inspection.
If you find out anything about the home that would appear would be too expensive to move forward. You can cancel the transaction if you change your mind or if the home seller will not remedy the situation. Your being able to cancel will depend on what “contingencies” you have removed. Most contracts have 21 days, at least in California. Make sure your Realtor explains to you until when you have the right to back out while being able to recover your deposit on the property.
I’m Connor MacIvor and I want to be your Realtor! Let me know how I may make that happen, of course when you are ready!