What's the Deal with a Home Inspection?
- posted 5.3.2012
- Susan Malcolm
- Real Estate Tips
Home inspections are a very important part of the home buying process. They occur after the purchase agreement has been signed because in most cases the purchase agreement will contain a home inspection condition. The home inspection condition will allow the buyer to back out of the transaction after the home has been inspected by a professional should any serious issues arise. Home inspections are not a requirement everywhere, but they are highly suggested. You don’t want to be stuck with a house that has serious issues right off the bat. Home inspections will help identify issues with a home that if left unnoticed, may cause serious problems down the road.
The buyer is in charge of hiring a home inspector to come out and survey the property. You want to make sure you hire a licensed professional. Your real estate agent can usually recommend home inspectors. The home inspector will be looking for anything out of the ordinary or anything that seems lackluster. They will examine the structure of the home, plumbing, electrical, appliances, the roof, the garage, the exterior of the home and property and the ventilation systems. The home inspection report will let you know if there are issues with any of these elements. A home inspection will run somewhere between $300-$500 depending on location. Considering the huge investment you’re about to make, a home inspection is definitely a worthwhile expense.
In the case there are issues to resolve, which is almost always, then you will need to decide how you want to deal with them. Commonly the seller will be asked to lower the sales price, fix the issues before closing, or provide credit towards the buyer's closing costs. You and your agent will put in writing what needs to be fixed, how you would like it to be handled, and present it to the seller and their agent. The seller will then agree or disagree to the terms or provide a counter offer. If you have a home inspection condition in the purchase contract, the buyer will be able to back out if something major is found. If you decide to file a formal request for them to repair damages, keep in mind the seller does not necessarily want to hire the best professionals, or install top of the line products. You might be better off hiring people you trust and monitoring the work while it is being done. Once everything is resolved to both parties' likings, you can move on through the process.
The home inspection will give the buyer peace of mind. There will be no surprises when you move into your new home, and you can feel confident going into closing. Please feel free to share any advice on home inspections you might have picked up along the way!