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Different Types of Home Inspections Explained

A home inspection includes information on almost all the parts of a property, but in some cases, you may need separate inspections covering termites, mold, and foundation issues.

A standard home inspection offers you a detailed report on the home you’re hoping to buy. Depending on the location, age, and condition of the home you’re considering, you may need certain other types of home inspections. Mold inspection, Termite inspection, and Foundation inspection are among the most common of these specialized types of home inspections.

When considering types of home inspections such as seller’s pre-listing inspection, buyer’s inspection, home maintenance inspection, or warranty inspection, what’s the difference anyway?

When most people think about “home inspection,” they associate it with the inspection done during the option period when buying a home. Austin, TX-based home inspector Nathan Vick, with Home Pro Inspections explains, most home inspections we see are for people preparing to buy a home.

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However, there are several types of home inspections. We see an increasing number of inspection requests from people who are about to put their home on the market, along with homeowners looking to understand how their home’s major systems are functioning.

Having an objective and comprehensive review of the condition of your property by a qualified professional inspector from Home Pro Inspection is beneficial to both buyers and sellers in all stages of the home buying/selling process.

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial investments a person will ever make; however, having all the essential information provided by a home inspection will ensure you are confident in your decision.

Let’s take a look at 4 of the most common types of home inspections, their purpose & scope, and for whom each inspection is intended.

Types of Home Inspections: The Buyer’s Inspection

Let’s start with the most common type of home inspection there is – the buyer’s inspection.


The intended buyer of the home orders this inspection.


Buying a home is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make in your lifetime. A wise buyer is an informed buyer, and a home inspection does precisely that; it keeps you informed—information about the property you’re interested in purchasing. The purpose of this inspection is to verify that all Structural, Mechanical, and Plumbing, Electrical systems, along with septic systems, are installed and operating as intended.

As a home buyer, it is essential to remember that no home is perfect. Even an inspection of a newly constructed home will likely include some noted defects on the inspection report. We will relate most of your inspection to maintenance details and minor imperfections with the property. However, an inspection brings attention to possible areas that the seller should address before buying the home.

The home inspection issues that matter fall into four main categories:

  1. Major defects (i.e., a structural failure)
  2. Safety hazards (i.e., live, exposed, buss bar at the electrical panel)
  3. Things that lead to major defects (i.e., small roof flashing leaks)
  4. Things that may hinder your ability to occupy, finance, or insure


A typical home inspection covers all the essential structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, integrity, cosmetic features, and other aspects of the house, including:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Interior and exterior
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Garages
  • Baths
  • Kitchen, which includes faucets, sinks, garbage disposals & other built-in appliances
  • Exterior walls
  • Chimney Inspection
  • Slabs
  • Foundation
  • Basement and crawl space
  • Parapets, trim
  • Examination of the attic and roof inspection to assess the roof surface, insulation, ventilation, framing, flashing, penetrations, drainage, sewer line, overhangs, gutters, and downspouts

Since this is part of a real estate transaction, the inspector should be licensed and insured. Licensing requirements can vary by state, but in Texas, inspectors must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) & follow their Standards of Practice for inspections performed within the state. Home Pro Inspections have all the licensing required.

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Further, inspectors may be affiliated with a professional inspector association such as InterNACHI or ASHI. You can have a look at the TREC Standards of Practice and InterNACHI Standards of Practice, followed by Home Pro Inspections, which applies to almost all our inspectors.

Types of Home Inspections: The Pre-Listing Inspection

The next type of home inspection is the pre-listing inspection, also known as a seller’s inspection.


This inspection is ordered by a homeowner looking to sell their home, i.e., a “seller.”


The purpose of this inspection is to verify that all Mechanical, Structural, Plumbing, and Electrical systems are installed and operating as intended. In a typical real estate transaction, the buyer is the one who orders a home inspection. However, sellers are free to schedule a professional assessment of their home before putting it on the market. A pre-listing inspection offers sellers current information about the condition of their residential property and gives them complete control over repairs, which potentially strengthens their negotiating position.

Why should you, as a seller, ask us to perform an inspection if the buyer is going to do one anyway?

An article from REALTOR Magazine explains it as the value to the seller because a pre-listing inspection makes them aware of issues in advance of negotiating a purchase agreement, allowing them a chance to resolve the problems or have them accounted for upfront in the asking price.

It gives the seller way better control in marketing their home and helps minimize stress from heat-of-the-moment negotiations after the purchase agreement is tendered. Homes with a pre-listing inspection sell faster & have less inspection-related issues to negotiate, enabling a smoother transaction.

InterNACHI suggests that having an inspection performed ahead of schedule helps in many ways, such as:

  • It can alert you to immediate safety issues before agents & visitors tour your home.
  • It can allow you to see your home through the eyes of a critical and neutral third party.
  • It alerts you to items of immediate concern, such as radon gas or active wood destroying organisms’ infestation.
  • It will permit you to make repairs ahead of time so that:
  • This way, the defects won’t become negotiating stumbling blocks.
  • There’s no delay in obtaining the Use & Occupancy Permit.
  • You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors (or make some DIY repairs, if qualified.)
  • It helps you to price your house realistically.
  • It may relieve the prospect’s suspicions and concerns, and it may encourage the buyer to waive his inspection contingency.
  • It reduces your liability and adds professional supporting documentation to your disclosure statement.


The only difference between a seller’s inspection and a buyer’s inspection is the customer for whom the inspection is being conducted and the time frame when it occurs. The scope of the inspection should be the same. It’s like a complete seller’s inspection utilizing the same standards of practice depending on the inspector and city/state requirements.

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Depending on the disclosure laws in your state, you may be legally required to disclose the problems uncovered during the inspection to the buyer. By doing a home inspection before listing for sale, you might know about a significant number of the issues. If you live in a state that requires disclosure (for instance, Texas does – view Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code here), you must let the buyer in on these issues.

Types of Home Inspections: The Warranty Inspection

Third up in the list is the warranty inspection, referred to as a “1-year warranty inspection.”


This inspection is done by the homeowner who bought a newly constructed home (i.e., built a home.)


Again, often called a 1-year warranty inspection, this inspection should be scheduled by new home buyers near the end of their first-year builder warranty period.

The purpose of this inspection is to identify any deficiencies that might be covered under the builder’s warranty (i.e., to verify that all Mechanical, Structural, Plumbing, and Electrical systems are installed & operating as intended.)

Warranties for newly constructed homes generally offer coverage on workmanship and materials. This inspection is the homeowner’s final opportunity to identify and inform the builder of items that need repair or replacement.


The scope of the warranty inspection is the same as the general home inspection. It is a full seller inspection utilizing the same requirements and standards of practice, depending on the inspector and state. Ensure that you check with our inspector to understand the complete scope and standards for this inspection.

Types of Home Inspections: The Maintenance Inspection

Last but not least, there is a maintenance inspection.


The homeowner orders this inspection.


The home maintenance inspection is generally booked by homeowners who have been in their home for several years and just want to know if the major systems and structures in the house are working correctly.


This inspection’s purpose is to verify that all systems are installed and operating as intended. Think of it as an annual physical checkup! The homeowner may not have noticed an issue yet; however, our professional inspectors are trained to spot smaller signs that something isn’t quite right.


The scope of the maintenance inspection is often the same as the general home inspection. However, the scope and standards can be less stringent, depending on the state or licensing requirements. It is essential to ask your general home inspector to go over these details with you.

Contact Home Pro Inspections for your Home Inspection Needs in Austin, TX

Your home deserves the attention of a professional. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or just enjoying the comfort of your home, we invite you to consider Home Pro Inspections for your home inspection needs in Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas. If you have questions or would like more information on any Home Inspection, please contact us at the earliest.