Frequently Asked Questions

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual assessment and basic performance evaluation of a home’s systems and components completed by a licensed professional. The purpose is to discover anything that might need repairs or replacements or otherwise impact the home’s value. Inspections aren’t intended to comprehensively investigate or probe into the cause and effect of recorded issues. In this FAQ section, you can find out more about what inspections do and don’t cover.   

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Do I need a home inspection?


Having a home inspection completed is a critical part of the home-buying process. Since buying a home is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make, it’s essential that you know as much as you can about your home before purchasing. A home inspection gives you an unbiased look at your property’s condition. It helps you to identify any problems you may want to address before purchasing rather than after moving in or in a few years. Without an inspection, you are accepting your property as is, regardless of its known or unknown defects.  


If you own a home and plan to sell, a home inspection will give you the opportunity to identify any repairs you may want to make before selling, increasing the selling condition of your home.   

What is included in the home inspection report?

During a home inspection, we will examine most visible and readily accessible components of your home and provide you with a detailed report of any issues we find, complete with photos.  

Areas we inspect include: 

  • Roofing 
  • Structural Components 
  • Foundation & Crawlspace 
  • Basement 
  • Exterior (siding, doors, and windows) 
  • Deck, Porch, & Patio 
  • Driveway & Walkways 
  • Attic, Insulation, & Ventilation 
  • Interior (ceiling, floors, walls, and doors) 
  • Built-in Appliances 
  • Fireplace & Chimney 
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems 
  • Electrical Systems 
  • Plumbing Systems 

View a sample report 

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What are home inspectors not allowed to do?

A home inspector’s job is to provide an unbiased opinion of a home. Because of this, there are certain restrictions and regulations we must follow. These regulations protect all parties in the process, including the inspector, home buyer, seller, and agent. 

Home inspectors cannot offer advice or estimates on an issue they’ve found. If, for example, an inspector notices mold, they are not allowed to diagnose the problem. Instead, they might note in the report that you need a specialized inspection or testing to tell you more.  

Home inspections are noninvasive, meaning they inspect what we can see and access. Inspectors are not allowed to move large items such as boxes or furniture or cause damage to the property. For example, if a crawl space door is covered by a pile of firewood or locked, a home inspector cannot access it, and a large part of the foundation may go uninspected. That is why it is important to ensure items are cleared out of the way of important parts of the home and unlocked before a home inspection. To further prepare, make sure you read about areas we inspect or ways to prepare in our FAQ section.  

NC Home Inspector Licensure Board: General Exclusions

Can I perform a home inspection myself?

While completing your own home inspection or asking a knowledgeable friend to do one might seem like a good idea, we recommend hiring a licensed professional. Home inspectors examine hundreds of homes a year. They are trained and highly experienced with the many different parts of a home’s construction, maintenance, and systems. Inspectors also provide an unbiased opinion. As a homeowner or buyer, it can be difficult to remain impartial and unemotional about a house, which could affect your judgment. 

When should I schedule my inspection?

In most cases, you should schedule an inspection as soon as your offer is accepted. Scheduling an inspection sooner allows you ample time to discover any issues and either fix them or use that information during negotiation.   

How much does a home inspection cost?

Home inspections range in price depending on the size and age of the home. At Farris, you can expect a standard inspection of a 2,500-square-foot home to cost about $425. This rate does not include the cost of any additional inspections or tests you might choose to include, such as radon testing or a septic inspection.   

Our rates

Should I be present during the home inspection?

Home inspections can last anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the size and condition of the home. You do not have to be present during the entirety of the inspection. However, you may wish to attend toward the end of the inspection to get the inspector’s summary of the report in person.   

What if my inspection report shows problems?

Every home has its problems, even new construction. You cannot fail a home inspection. In most cases, our findings are maintenance-related recommendations and minor defects. Sometimes, we do find significant defects or safety-related hazards. Our job is to give you in-depth information about the state of your home so that you and your real estate agent can decide how to proceed.   

How long will it take to get my report?

We pride ourselves on delivering timely, quality reports. In most cases, we will have your report back within 24 hours.   

Watch: Inspection Report 

Is there anything I can do to prepare for my home inspection?

Help your inspection go as smoothly as possible by doing these things.  

If you’re a buyer  

1. Keep in mind that no house is perfect. The biggest piece of advice we can give is to remain calm. Getting your report might feel overwhelming, but your real estate agent will help you sort through and prioritize what defects to focus on.   

2. Give your inspector room to work. If you decide to be present during the inspection, make sure you give your inspector enough time and space to do their job. You are more than welcome to ask questions during the process, but know that the inspector will be moving around constantly and trying to provide their utmost focus to the task at hand.   

3. Attend at the end. You can choose to attend the entire inspection if you like, perhaps enjoying the home or making measurements for your future furniture. You may also wish to do other things and come by near the end. No matter what you decide, we highly encourage you to be there with your realtor at the end of the inspection so you can discuss any findings with the inspector in person. If you can’t attend for some reason, it is okay; you’ll receive a full report with photos of any of the issues found, and, if you like, your inspector can go over any concerns you have after reading it.   

If you’re a seller  

1. Make repairs. Before a home inspection, you will want to repair any known issues in the home. Getting repairs done after they’ve been found in an inspection can hold up the sale of your home. If necessary, get a pre-inspection so you know exactly what will need to be fixed or repaired beforehand. Things you may want to consider are fixing broken door knobs or latches, installing new filters, cleaning your gutters, replacing old bulbs, and making sure smoke detectors and such work.   

2. Clear out space. One thing inspectors often run into is being unable to inspect certain items due to the fact that they cannot physically get to them. Inspectors will need a clear view of foundational walls inside and outside and access to your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, attic, and electric panels. Ensure you’ve cleared out adequate space for them to get to those areas by removing boxes, clearing items under the sink, or moving furniture that might be blocking access. Home inspectors are not allowed to move personal items out of the way themselves and will instead note in their report that the seller’s personal items limited the inspection. 

3. Provide access. An inspector will be looking at all areas of your home. Ensure your basement, crawl space, attic, electrical boxes, and garages are all unlocked and available for inspection.    

4. Leave it on. During the inspection, inspectors will turn on your appliances to make sure they work. That means you must ensure your utilities and electric panel breakers are on, especially if it is a vacant house. If not connected, the inspector will need to reschedule, causing a delay in the buying process. This also includes leaving your pilot light on. 

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What is radon, and do I need radon testing?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is the second leading causes of lung cancer in the United States. This gas is radioactive and comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil, rock, and water. Over time, the gas seeps from the ground and can accumulate in the lowest level of a home. The EPA suggests all home buyers test for radon before buying a home because nearly 1 in every 15 homes is estimated to have an elevated radon level. If high levels are detected, you can take simple steps to implement a radon mitigation system as a home buyer or seller. 

Click here for more information from the EPA 

Do I need a mold inspection?

If you’re buying a home, getting a mold inspection is always a good idea. Mold can cause lung infection, congestion, and other illnesses. Things that might key you into a mold in the home are a strange musty smell, previously flooded areas, or spaces that can’t dry out completely.

For your convenience, we have a few home inspectors on our staff who can complete these inspections. This comprehensive investigation will look for any possible areas of mold or conditions that could lead to mold growth in the future. If a suspicious area is found, our inspectors will take a swab and send it to a lab to be tested.

Click here for more information from the EPA