A woman and man inspecting water damage on the ceiling of a home

If you’re even thinking about buying a new home or property, now’s the time to get prepared on the intricate buying process. One particular step, and arguably one of the most important, is the inspection. Why? Because a property inspector is your advocate.

While a home inspection is a crucial part of the home-buying process, it’s also optional. That’s right—this is not a mandatory part of the process but it’s highly encouraged, so much so, that if you choose not to have one, we will require you sign a form stating that you opted not to.

We can’t emphasize enough how important an inspection is for buyers. A good home inspection will provide you with a full scope of the home’s potential issues, and can be used to negotiate the final price. Say, for example, a home inspector notes that there’s water damage to the ceiling and the home might need a new roof—you could use the inspector’s report as a bargaining chip with the seller. So, if you’re planning on buying a home in Austin, a thorough inspection is definitely worth it.

Knowing that you need this “optional” inspection is step 1. Step 2 is hiring the right inspector for the job.

Finding a qualified inspector

Before scheduling an inspection, it’s important to make sure you’re working with someone who will provide the kind of quality report you need. It is up to you as a buyer to be informed about the huge investment you will be making so finding a good inspector is a top priority. Also note, in Texas, all inspectors are required to hold state regulated licenses.

To help you find a qualified inspector, we have a proven list of experts for you to choose from.

Furthermore, as you go through the selection process, we also recommend asking prospects the following questions:

  • Are you a member of a professional inspection organization? And if so, which one (s)?
  • What’s your background?
  • Can you detail your experience?
  • How long will the inspection take?
  • What do you plan on inspecting?
  • Do you include WDI (wood destroying insect), septic, sprinkler system inspections, also?
  • Am I able to attend the inspection?
  • What kind of inspection report do you provide?
  • What is the cost?

The answers they provide to these questions should be detailed. How they respond and the information in their final report could be what saves (or loses) you money in the negotiation process.

What happens during an inspection

When it comes time for the actual inspection, this third-party inspector will take an unbiased look at your potential new home. During which they will:

  • Survey the physical condition of the structure.
  • Determine what items might need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Evaluate the current condition of major systems.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are several things a home inspector will not be inspecting that you’ll need to examine on your own. You can find a list of these details in our recent article Home Buyer Beware: 7 Hidden Things to Look for When Inspecting a Home.

Remember, a home inspection will only take place if the new buyer asks for one. If you have any questions about a home inspection, let us know. We’re here to guide and support you through all aspects of the buying process from start to finish—including inspections.