An inspection is an incredibly important part of buying a home that should never be skipped. They often uncover issues currently unknown to the homeowner, which can affect the home’s final selling price. Inspecting a property is a way for both buyers and sellers to avoid future liability. If you’ve never had a home inspection before, you might be confused about what is and isn’t included. Here is everything you need to know.

What’s the average cost of a home inspection?

Prices for home inspections vary widely by location, as well as the size and age of a home.

“Home inspections generally cost between $300 and $450,

On average, 2,000-square-foot home will cost buyers at least $400 for an inspection from a reputable company. However, if you have a large house or need additional inspections, including mold or termites, which are typically not included, the price can easily reach $500 or even $650.

Another factor that determines how much an inspection cost is the type of home and how far the inspector has to travel to reach the home. Furthermore, home inspectors with more experience may charge more than those with less experience.

What do home inspectors look for?

Home inspectors should carefully inspect the important structures and systems of the property.

As part of these inspections, “[they include] an overview of all four major systems in a house – structural and foundation, roofing, plumbing, and electrical, including appliances, as well as safety hazards,”

How to choose the right home inspector

It’s a good idea to start by asking your Realtor for recommendations for home inspectors they’ve worked within the past.

Home inspectors can be found and vetted using Consumer Reports’ detailed resource guide. Check out online reviews of your inspector, even if they come highly recommended by your agent, a friend, or a family member.

Hiring someone who’s certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable. Among the requirements for certification from ASHI, for instance, candidates must pass an in-person National Home Inspector Examination and document that they’ve done at least 250 paid home inspections.”

Another tip they offer: ask for a sample copy of an inspection report they’ve already conducted on a home similar to yours. This will give you a great idea of how thorough the inspection is that they conduct, as well as how good they are at communicating the issues they do find.