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Have you ordered your home inspection but wondering how long it takes to get your report back after an inspection? 

One of the most important phases of the real estate transaction is the inspection phase. You have a finite number of days to make sure the home is exactly what the seller says it is. Make those days count with a thorough home inspection.

What Is a Home Inspection?

Hiring a professional home inspector when buying a home is a smart investment. The inspector’s job is to ensure there’s no structural damage that could affect the value of the home. Most inspectors have a home inspection checklist they follow.

Choosing a home inspector can seem like a challenge, but you have a few different ways to find a good one.

You can ask your real estate agent for some suggestions. They most likely have worked with many home inspectors and have a few they can refer to you.

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

The home inspection itself will take approximately 2-4 hours to complete and covers several areas:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Windows and doors
  • Attic
  • Insulation and ventilation
  • Basement
  • Structural integrity

After the home inspector completes his review of these key areas, he will create a full home report for you. 

You can generally expect to receive your home inspection report within 24 hours after the inspection is completed. Some inspectors may take longer, but as a general rule, most will complete them within that 24-hour window. 

Once you have the home inspection report, you can make a much more informed decision about the purchase of the home.

Contracts generally allow for an inspection period, anywhere from a week to three weeks, for the buyer to have the home inspected and decide whether or not to move forward with the transaction. 

After the inspection, you can do one of three things:

  • Ask for repairs up to the repair limit 
  • Cancel the contract
  • Continue to move forward with the contract AS-IS

Having that home inspection report will give you the ammunition you need to make that important decision.

What Happens After the Home Inspection?

The home inspection process usually can be completed within that first week of the inspection phase. If you decide to continue to move forward with the home purchase, you might consider some next steps.

Further Inspections

First, the home inspection may alert you to some more specific inspections you might want to consider. For example, if the home inspector says the roof looks questionable, he might suggest you hire a roof inspector to investigate further. 

Or if the home inspector discovers any issues with your wiring or plumbing, he may suggest you hire a professional that specializes in those particular fields to get a much more in-depth look at the problems.

Request Repairs

As a buyer, you have the right to request repairs within the inspection period. The seller doesn’t necessarily have to make any repairs, but they may be inclined to complete some.

Depending on your real estate contract, you may have a repair limit set. If you request repairs that are within the repair limit, the seller is obligated to either make the repairs before closing or depositing the repair limit into escrow that will be paid out to you at closing.

In other words, they will make the repairs or pay you the cost to do them after you move in. 

Cancel the Contract

If the home inspection shows that the home has major damage that’s way beyond the repair limits, or if you’re using an AS-IS contract for purchasing the home, you have the option to walk away.

A seller can’t force you to purchase a home if you find it’s not what you expected it to be. Even in an AS-IS contract, a buyer can deem the home to be less than expected and cancel the contract without penalty. 

Move Forward

Lastly, you can choose to move forward with the real estate purchase. You don’t have to risk losing the home forcing the seller’s position. If you love the home and the repairs are small, you don’t have to ask the sellers to make any repairs.

If the real estate market is competitive, as it’s been for quite some time, you might want to choose this route. If a seller knows other buyers would jump at the chance to buy their home, they can break the contract over small repairs.

Inventory of homes available for buyers has been tight and buyers are scrambling to find suitable homes. That has put sellers in the driver’s seat when it comes to contract negotiations. 

Many buyers have shortened the inspection period as a point of negotiation. They still perform the home inspections, but more for their own peace of mind. Plus it will provide a checklist of items to repair once they become the owner of the home.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost and How Do I Pay for It?

A home inspection will cost the buyer between $300 and $500, depending on a few factors. If the home is over a certain square footage, it could cost more. 

Also, if the home inspector has to travel outside of a radius of miles to do the home inspection, the home inspector could charge extra for extra miles.

Unless the home you’re trying to inspect is more than 4000 square feet in size, you can expect the cost of the home inspection to be from $300-$500. And with that cost, you’ll get the full home inspection report. It’s yours to keep.

Most home inspectors expect to receive payment for their services when they’re performed. So, as a home buyer, expect to pay the inspector before he drives to the house. 

In some cases, a home inspection can be paid at closing, but that’s very rare these days. For one, if a home sale doesn’t go through, the home inspector will then have to chase down the payment for that home inspection. 

Plus, if the home inspector knows he won’t be paid until the house closes, he may be less objective in his inspection. He has the incentive to give the home a clean report, creating a conflict of interest.

Make a Smart Home Buying Decision

Buying a home is a complex, sometimes overwhelming process. You can make sure that you are making a smart decision by insisting that a home inspector inspects the home and provides an in-depth report of the home. 

The process takes a short amount of time and you can expect to receive a report within 24 hours after the inspection has been completed. But it will give you so much information about the home and you’ll be prepared to make smart decisions moving forward.

If you want more information about the home inspection process, check out our sample home inspection report. Protect your real estate investment with Class Home Inspections.