Masthead Image

Overview of Home Inspection Process for First-Time Home Buyers

Discover why home inspections, home inspectors, and home inspection reports are integral to the home buying process.

Home inspections are integral to the home buying process. Buyers who do not hire a home inspector to perform an inspection before buying a home in North Carolina could cost themselves a lot of money and experience a whole host of problems once they take possession of the home. Below is an overview of the home inspection process for first-time buyers and others unfamiliar with home inspections, home inspectors, and home inspection reports.

Home Inspection Contingency

The inspection contingency clause is one of the most frequently-used buyer contingencies. This contingency gives you, the buyer, the right to order a professional home inspection. Then, once you review the inspection report, it allows you to back out of the deal if you’re not comfortable with the findings of the inspection.

Interviewing Home Inspectors

While your North Carolina real estate agent will most likely offer you a list of home inspectors, it is your choice as the buyer to make the final decision about who you want to hire to perform the home inspection. Buyers should take the time to interview multiple home inspectors while also being mindful of the inspection contingency timeline, before making a choice. HUD offers buyers helpful advice for what to ask inspectors during interviews. Consumers can also find more important information on North Carolina licensed home inspectors here.

What Does the Home Inspection Include?

The length of your home inspection will depend on the size of the home. A standard home inspection report should include, at a minimum, the condition of the following: heating and central air conditioning system, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic and visible insulation, fireplace and chimney, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and structural components. It is helpful for a buyer to attend the home inspection because it provides you with firsthand insight into the condition of the home.

Home Inspection Report

In North Carolina, a licensed home inspector must provide the written home inspection report within 3 business days of performing the inspection unless another date is specified in the contract. Upon delivery of the report, the home inspector will review the report with you, explain the defects he found and point out areas that may need maintenance in the near future. Do not hesitate to ask the inspector questions during this review. It is vital for the buyer to understand the defects and possible maintenance issues of the home.

Back to the Home Inspection Contingency Clause

After reviewing the home inspection report with your inspector, you should also discuss it with your real estate agent. At this point, you and your agent can decide what to do next. While it is important for buyers to remember that no house is perfect, if a home’s issues cause you concern, you can walk away from the deal because of the inspection contingency clause. You and your agent also have the option to ask the seller to correct the defects your inspector finds, or you can ask for money to make the repairs yourself.

Have additional questions about the home inspection process involved in buying a new home in North Carolina? Our brokers at Red Door Company will be glad to help answer any of your questions. Are you ready to start looking to buy a home in Raleigh, Chapel Hill or Durham? Contact us today to experience a smarter, more successful way to buy your dream home.