Do I REALLY Need an Inspection?

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Your Question: Do I REALLY Need an Inspection?

Professor Tate Answers:


That question is a common one among Buyers come offer time. Though we can’t tell you what to do, we must say that it’s never a bad idea to get your potential home inspected. There are a number of reasons why getting an inspection is a smart idea.

The most important reason for getting an inspection: It tells you what simply walking through the house cannot tell you. If there are any problems – minor and/or severe – the inspection will give you advance warning of them. Who wants to move into their new home only to find out later about the foundation problems, the water damage, or the mold they never saw?

The information the inspection gives you is of great benefit. With this information, you can do one of 3 things:


  • Use it for Bargaining – Once you have a list of the needed repairs, you can use this to negotiate to a lower sale price. This will compensate to cover the cost of the repairs. It will be hard for the Seller to sell for their original asking price if there are especially severe problems.
  • Have Seller Agree to Repair – You could keep the agreed upon Sales Price, but once the inspection turns up with needed repairs, your Real Estate Agent can write up an Amendment to the Offer, making the Sale contingent on the Seller remedying all repairs listed from the Inspection. If the Seller agrees to this, you may choose to have it inspected once more upon completion to make sure that the problems have been resolved.
  • Bag It – An inspection that turns up poor results gives you an “out”. It gives you the opportunity to abandon the deal and find something else that doesn’t have the problems you just can’t or won’t contend with.


To have a good inspection, make sure you hire the right inspector! He should be licensed and certified by a reputable inspection agency, like the American Society of Home Inspectors. It’s a good idea to interview your potential inspector. If you’re unsure of what to ask him, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a list of “Ten Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector” on their website (


  1. What does your inspection cover?
  2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?
  3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?
  4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
  5. How long will the inspection take?
  6. How much will it cost?
  7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
  8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
  9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?
  10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

Just imagine the stress and expense you can potentially avoid by having an inspection done! Home Inspections not only provide you with the problems, but they also tell you what needs to be done to solve the problem. Some may even give you an estimated cost to repair.

So what do you think – is it worth it?

You asked, now you know!

-Professor Reel S. Tate 

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