Negotiating a lower price

To help you negotiate a fair sale price for a home, it’s best to get an appraisal and inspection report. Even if you agree directly with the home seller on a sale price, you may want these items to safeguard the value of your new investment.

To hire a professional inspector, contact the American Home Inspectors Directory (AHID). The American Home Inspector Directory includes inspectors from all national recognized home inspector organizations. Including the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), or National Association of Property Inspectors (NAPI). A certified inspector checks a home for:
Structural components. This includes the foundation, floors, walls, columns, ceilings and roof.

Home exterior. This includes doors, windows, chimneys, decks, balconies, steps, drainage and driveway.

Plumbing. This includes pipes, sinks, drains, and bathroom fixtures.

Electrical system. This includes wiring and grounding equipment, amperage and voltage ratings, circuit breaker and lighting fixtures.

Heating and cooling systems. This includes boilers, thermostats, heat pumps, insulation, air conditioning, central controls, fans, ducts and filters.

An inspection report may exclude condition of paint, wallpaper, carpeting, household appliances and draperies. These are generally replaced by the buyer, whose tastes are likely different. You may also want a special inspection for pests, or for soil and drainage. Inspections generally cost between $250 and $500.

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An appraisal is almost always required when you buy a home. However, if you disagree with the appraisal value, you can always order your own appraisal. You can find an appraiser through such organizations as the National Association of Master Appraisers (NAMA). Appraisals generally cost between $250 and $500.