When Should I Have My Home Inspection Done?
Homebuyers: If you are buying a house you should stipulate in your offer that you would like a whole house inspection. You should also state the conditions of the inspection such as time frame for scheduling and contingency plan in the event that there are problems or issues that were neither evident nor disclosed at the time the offer was made. It would also be in your best interest to contact your potential home inspector to make tentative arrangements prior to finalizing the offer agreement.
The best time to have an inspection done is soon after the offer is made. This way if there are any problems that require repair or negotiation, there is plenty of time to make respective arrangements. The buyer will still have the opportunity to inspect the house on the final walkthrough prior to closing to make sure that the house is in the same condition it was when the offer agreement was made, and confirm the seller has completed any repairs that were agreed to in the offer and/or as a result of the home inspection report. If the home has had a pre-listing inspection you should still get your own inspection for the reasons discussed in the next segment...
Home Sellers: I am often called by home sellers regarding “pre-listing inspections”. I do provide "pre-listing consultations" to help sellers prepare a home for sale, but I don't provide a report to sellers to be shared with prospective buyers; I believe all homebuyers should obtain their own independent inspection and I'm so convicted in this belief that I refuse to write up pre-listing inspections because I think it would contradict the beliefs that I advocate. Plus, there may be many problems that arise in the interim between a pre-listing inspection and the point in time the offer is made. I also think there's a natural bias towards the seller on a pre-listing inspection since they are the ones paying the inspector and also because there's no relationship between the buyer and inspector - the buyer has little to no recourse if there was an error or omission by the inspector. I've looked at numerous homes that had pre-listing inspections by competitors prior to my inspection, and every time I find serious problems that were either overlooked or omitted from the report.
Homeowners: Homeowners often call me to advise them regarding problems in their own personal homes or income producing properties. I enjoy the opportunity to consult with homeowners regarding their properties, investigate various questions and issues, and try to find solutions. I do inspections to resolve contractor disputes, consult homeowners regarding roofing and foundation issues, and I love trying to solve those occasional house phenomenon mysteries.