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Paying hundreds of dollars to have someone else inspect a house that you may not even buy probably doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But as a prospective homebuyer, you need to protect yourself from putting tens or even hundreds of thousands into a house that's fatally flawed, and inspections are the best way to do that. Here are two reasons why you as the buyer should plan on paying for inspections rather than expecting the seller to do so.
1. You can choose the inspector and attend the inspection Not all home inspectors are equally well qualified or even equally scrupulous. If the seller is in control, you won't be able to decide which inspector to hire, which is an important part of the process. Of course, the seller will have to hire an inspector that meets the state's requirements for qualification as a home inspector, but relying on state regulations isn't the same as choosing an inspector yourself. Plus, if you're the one paying for the inspection, you'll be able to actually attend the inspection, following the inspector around and listening to his or her comments on each aspect and potential issue. You'll also be able to discuss anything you may have noticed about the house that you're worried about.
2. Additional inspections may be required
If the home inspector recommends that you have a specialist come in for an inspection as well, it would be unlikely for a seller to agree to pay for that, so you'll have to front the cost. In addition, if you want to make extra sure the house is in good shape, you'll be able to ask the inspector yourself if there are any additional inspections that might be useful, even if he or she might not have thought it important enough to put them on the official report. Specialized inspectors can be brought in for chimney inspections, mold inspections, radon inspections, roof inspections, and more. These specialized assessments can let you know whether you're really getting a great deal or whether you're likely to end up stuck with a house that puts your family's health in danger.
These two reasons show why it's really in your best interests as the buyer to front the cost of the home inspection and any other inspections that may be necessary.