Which Home Inspection Style Is Right For You?

Date Published: March 1, 2023

When it comes to purchasing a home, it’s always wise to “look before you leap.” In other words, buyers should familiarize themselves with a property as much as possible before taking that final, monetary “leap.” That’s why home inspections are so crucial.

By hiring a qualified professional to conduct an inspection, a home buyer will be able to learn more about the property and its concerns, if any. That way, when it’s time to make the final decision on whether or not to proceed with the deal, the buyer will be able to make a choice that is educated and informed.

There are three main types of inspections, each with its own pros and cons: General Home Inspections, Walk & Talk Inspections, and Specialized Inspections. In this blog, we will break down each of these inspection types. By the end, we hope that you will know which inspection is right for you!

General Home Inspections

This is the most common type of inspection. During a general inspection, the inspector will cover all major systems and components of the home. These inspectors are usually certified by one (or both) of the industry standard home inspection associations (InterNACHI or ASHI). They will also follow the inspection standards established by ASHI.

Inspector examining a furnace during a home inspection

Inspectors will be well equipped with a solid base of knowledge regarding all components of the home. However, they will not necessarily be specialists. As a result, some of the issues identified during the inspection may be out of the scope of the inspector’s knowledge. In these cases, the inspector will recommend consultation with the necessary expert.

This general inspection covers every aspect of a home and will call out minor items and major items. A full comprehensive home inspection gives you a detailed snapshot in time of the condition of the home.

At the end of the inspection, you will be provided with an extensive, detailed report that illustrates all of the concerns noted onsite. The inspector will present his/her findings, and the buyer or agent will have an opportunity to ask any questions.

To see an example of a Scott Home Inspection Report, click here.

One of the most significant benefits to a general home inspection is that you can use the inspection report as a negotiation tool. If the buyer and agent plan to make any objections, the report can be utilized as a viable source of professional documentation. Simply put – your objection claims are more likely to be accepted when backed by a licensed home inspector.

Walk & Talk Inspections

Compared to standard home inspections, walk & talk inspections are much more of a general overview. While the inspector does do a full overview of the home, it is much quicker and less thorough than a general home inspection.

walk and talk home inspection

Image sourced from: https://www.realtor.com

These types of inspections are especially good with “as is” home transactions. Sometimes buyers know that, if they want to make an offer, they will have to do so without a home inspection.

This type of inspection is somewhat of a work-around in situations where buyers need to waive their inspection in order to make a competitive offer. In these cases, an inspector will join the prospective buyer(s) and their agent during an initial tour of the home.

The inspector will walk the premises and give a verbal evaluation of the home as he/she walks along. Due to the short duration of these inspections, the inspectors will mainly keep an eye out for big ticket items that could potentially be deal breakers.

The inspector will not be entering attics, removing electric panels, opening HVAC units etc. A flashlight is the only tool utilized during a walk & talk. Also, given its brief and general nature, a walk & talk inspection does not need to adhere to ASHI inspection standards.

Contrary to a general inspection, there are usually no written reports during a walk & talk. Buyers are encouraged to take notes on their own during the process. This can be an effective method for the buyer if they are just interested in learning more about the property. However, in the case that contract objections are permitted, it might be harder for the buyer to negotiate without an official inspection report.

It is also worth noting that walk & talk inspections will be the cheapest of the three home inspection options.

If you do go under contract, it is still a good idea to get a full home inspection (even if you already had the walk & talk). But in this competitive market, sometimes that is just not an option and you must waive the inspection all together.

Specialized Inspections

Specialized inspections involve hiring an expert to evaluate a particular component of the home. You can hire out any type of specialist depending on your needs. Some examples are structural engineers, plumbing specialists, roofing contractors etc.

These inspections can be quite beneficial, in that you get a more in-depth evaluation and inspection report of the specific component in question. Also, one of their key benefits is that you can usually get accurate estimates on repairs. This is different from a general home inspection, where the inspector can evaluate concerns but usually cannot present repair estimates. And when it comes time to make any contract objections, specialized inspection reports can prove to be very strong negotiation tools.

Image sourced from: https://www.expertplumbers.com

The disadvantage of getting multiple specialists instead of a general home inspection is you are more focused on single components and don’t get the bigger picture of the overall condition of the home. It is usually best to get a general home inspection in addition to any specialized inspections.

Specialized inspections also get pretty costly – especially if you wish to hire multiple specialists. However, hiring a specialist might help you acquire the valuable information you need to make your final decision on the deal.

In many cases, buyers will hire out specialized inspections due to a known existing concern. For instance, the seller might disclose that the home had previous foundational issues. In that situation, it’s probably prudent to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the current condition of the foundation.

As you can see, there are numerous options and combinations when it comes to choosing the right home inspection. It really all depends on your specific situation and preferences. We hope this blog has helped to provide you with some more clarity on the matter

Scott Home Inspections

At Scott Home Inspection, a division of Scott Home Services, LLC, we specialize in general home inspections. This has been our flagship service for 15+ years; and we are one of the leading home inspection companies in Colorado. It is also the most common inspection type that agents recommend.

When you choose to have Scott Home Inspection perform your pre-purchase home inspection, our support doesn’t end with the inspection and report. Through our Ask Your Inspector program, we provide ongoing support to you via email, phone calls, and with our extensive knowledge base of information.

If you are in need of an inspection, we hope that you will consider Team Scott! Feel free to visit us online for more info or contact us to schedule your service today. We are here to help you “look before you leap!”

Electrical panel inspection during a one year warranty inspection

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About the Author: Chris Kimmel

Chris Kimmel worked as an Associate Home Inspector for two years, handling numerous services including sewer scope inspections, pest inspections, mold air sample testing, radon testing, and water quality testing. Chris now works with Scott Home Inspection as a Content Writing Specialist.

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