Whether you are buying or selling a home you may need to enlist the services of an inspector and/or an appraiser to help assess the value of your home and to see if your home is in need of any work. For the most part, inspections and appraisals are done once and the price is dictated by the market. You certainly will find one company's appraisal or inspection cost to differ greatly in price from another. Just make sure that the appraisal or inspection comes from a reputable company and are well respected by the lender and real estate broker community. It's always a good idea to talk to a few companies and get referrals from friends or family. When you find an appraiser and/or inspector, be sure to ask your lender and real estate agent if they are familiar with the company and can recommend their work. Also, ask them for references as well.
Normally, the first question that prospective customers ask is "how much do you charge?" when looking for a home inspector. The level of experience and talent of home inspectors varies. The size and age of homes varies. Some homes / condos can be inspected in 2 to 3 hours. Older, larger homes can take 4 or more hours. Some inspection reports might take an hour or two to complete, while others might take 4 hours or more. Continue Reading
Inspectors quote inspection fees using different criteria or methods. Some charge a flat rate, others charge by the square foot of living area. Some charge by square foot of area under the roof, some charge by the price of the house and others charge by the amount of time spent (which is reflective of not only size but condition.) Some consider detached garages as part of the main house and do not charge for them (but may include the square footage into the overall size calculation) while others consider detached garages as outbuildings and charge extra for them. Some inspectors charge for all the optional items, others charge for some of them, others will not inspect for certain items such as swimming pools or septic systems. Most inspectors have a minimum charge for their services. In some parts of the country the "general rule" of $100.00 per hour applies. Some charge for mileage from their location to the inspection site.
Regardless of how your inspector charges you, ensure you understand what's included in the inspection and what is NOT included. Also understand what items you might have to repair as a result of the inspection will be an additional, added expense.
Both the seller and the buyer may have appraisals, and the information on them might be somewhat different. An inspection may indicate some issues with the structure or systems within the building, but it never gives a "fair market price" for the property, nor does it put the home into the proper context of the surrounding neighborhood. Only a qualified home appraiser will understand the many different elements that combine to make a home worth more or less than the asking price.
The national average cost for an appraisal by a licensed professional is between $300 and $600 and should require roughly two hours of inspection time to complete.
A roofing inspector will climb up to the roof and locate the various dormers, chimneys, gutters, and any flashing points to see if they require remedial work. He will examine the condition of the roofing surface material. He will also inspect inside the house looking carefully at the eaves, interior chimney surfaces, fasteners, roof braces, and support material. A general roof inspection will take from 45 minutes to several hours. It varies depending on the size, materials and complexity of the roof. Prices ranges vary from around $100 to $1,000 depending on the type of roof and size of the home.