The home inspection is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process—and, as a buyer, you want to make sure you understand every step of the process.

But how, exactly do you do that?

recent article from realtor.com outlined the key questions you should ask an inspector before, during, and after the home inspection, including:

  • Before: What do you—and don’t you—check during the inspection? Before the inspection, you’ll want to know the different features your inspector is going to be checking—and any features that aren’t included with the inspection.
  • Before: How long have you been inspecting houses? Ideally, you want to work with an inspector with a solid amount of experience—particularly if you’re buying an older home.
  • Before: Can I attend the inspection? Your inspector should feel comfortable with you being present at the inspection—and if they’re not, consider it a red flag.
  • During: Is this a big deal or a minor issue? Just about every home inspection will turn up some issues—but it’s important for you to understand whether a particular issue is a minor, inexpensive fix, or something more serious and costly.
  • After: Can you clarify this point on the inspection report? You want to understand all the issues your inspector brings up on the inspection report—so if there’s something you don’t understand, make sure to ask them to walk you through it.
  • After: Do I need to call in any experts for follow-up inspections? Your inspector may identify an issue during your inspection that needs further investigation or attention (like issues with your roof or HVAC system). Make sure to ask if you need to call in any additional experts to get an estimate on what the issue is, and what it would take to fix it.

Bottom line? It’s important to stay informed throughout the entire home inspection process—so make sure to ask the right questions before, during, and after your inspection.