Home Inspection FAQs

Ahhhh, the home inspection. You’ve found your dream home, got an accepted offer, turned in earnest money, and began your loan process… you’re ready for the home inspection. Here are some top FAQs I get about this part of the home buying process. 

  1. Does the home inspector HAVE to be licensed in Wisconsin? YES YES YES
  2. Do I pay for the home inspection? If so, how much is that? Yes, the buyer pays, and the price varies. I’ve seen inspectors charge anywhere from $300-$500 on a home in Brown County, WI for a home inspection. If you need radon testing, or a pool to be inspected, or a septic system, well system… all that is separate and extra dollars. Talk to your Realtor about which inspections may be right for you.  
  3. Am I REQUIRED to get a home inspection? No, it’s not mandatory, but it’s wise if you do. No home is perfect. I’ll repeat that for the people in the back, NO HOME IS PERFECT. Not even new construction. You’re spending a lot of money on a house, wouldn’t you be willing to pay a few hundred dollars extra to make sure you’re making a wise investment?
  4. Is the home inspection the same thing as the appraisal? No, the home inspection is separate from the appraisal. The inspection tells you everything about the house you’re buying: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It gives you a general understanding  of the physical condition of the home that you’re purchasing. The appraisal tells you what the bank thinks your house is worth.
  5. What can I ask to be fixed? You can ask for whatever you deem to be a defect according to the inspection report. It’s really a grey issue here in Wisconsin. According to the Offer to Purchase, on page 2, they have a list of defects, but it’s still pretty broad. If it’s something you feel would impact the value of the house, your safety, the structure of the property… things like that, then go for it! Ask away. The worst a seller can say is no. Talk to your Realtor about the ins and outs of the inspection contingency, and how it may or may not impact your home buying process.   
  6. Can you negotiate if items pop up on the inspection report? You bet! The inspection contingency is another major negotiating period. Most of the time, a seller is willing to negotiate – most of the time. If you’re purchasing a foreclosure home or even a short sale property, then no. What you agree upon with the Offer to Purchase is what you get. Speak to your Realtor more about the inspection contingency period if you are purchasing an as-is property.