One of the most important things you should do when buying a home is to arrange a home inspection. The home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn about any concerns with the property that the seller failed to mention, as well as any impending difficulties that could result in expensive repairs after you close. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to hire a home inspector and schedule the inspection. It’s difficult to know where to start if you’ve never done it before. Here’s some house inspection 101 to get you started.
WHAT DOES A HOUSE INSPECTION ENTAIL?
A house inspection is a visual appraisal of a property. When it comes to buying a home, you want to be as knowledgeable as possible about the property’s condition and what you’re getting for your money. A home inspection not only provides important information that can assist you in making a better purchasing decision, but it can also provide you with a potential negotiating advantage. If you find a flaw that needs to be addressed, you might be able to persuade the seller to subtract a portion of the purchase price to cover the repair costs.
WHEN INSPECTING A HOME, WHAT DO HOME INSPECTORS LOOK FOR?
Thorough home inspectors cast a wide net, evaluating both the interior and exterior features of a property to ensure that everything is in working order. The Standards of Practice statement published by the American Society of Home Inspectors defines the majority of what inspectors look for.
Here are a few examples:
- Electricity-based systems
- Systems for sewage and plumbing
- Roofing supplies
- Insulation and ventilation
- Heating and cooling system
- Fireplaces and venting
- Structure’s constituents (foundation, crawlspaces, wall structures, etc.)
- The exterior features (doors, decks, surface grading, driveways, etc.)
- Inside features include: (stairways, window seals, garages, etc.)
The type of property you’re investigating determines the scope of your home inspection. When scheduling a home inspection, be sure to ask the inspector what he or she intends to look at, as well as any concerns you may have (if you do in fact have any suspicions).
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT METHOD FOR SCHEDULING A HOME INSPECTION?
To ensure that your home inspection is correctly arranged and that you get the most out of it, follow the guidelines below.
Arrange for a home inspection as early as possible in the buying process to give yourself plenty of time to haggle. It’s better if you do it as soon as your offer has been accepted. Remember that a purchase price isn’t set in stone until the transaction is completed—if you find a defect during the house inspection, you have the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and offer the seller a different price.
Check with your agent to see if a house inspection is something they can recommend. Your realtor is the best source of insider information on who to use for your inspection. Use your realtor’s expertise by asking who they recommend. Your realtor is likely to have dealt with some good house inspectors and others who aren’t quite as qualified. Request two or three options so that you may compare and choose the best fit for you.
Inquire about the availability, process, and pricing of your recommended house inspectors by calling them. It aids in the conduct of your research, as well as all other elements of a home purchase. Call each home inspection company you’re thinking about to find out when they can do the inspection, how they’ll do it, and how much it will cost. On average, the cost of your inspection and final report should be roughly $325. Still, before deciding on the lowest option, make sure to analyze all factors.
Set up a time for a house inspection. You’ll want to be there for the house inspection, so choose a time that is convenient for both you and the inspection company. It’s futile to rush an inspection, so allow plenty of time for you and the inspector to thoroughly inspect the home—you’ll need between two and three hours to do it right.
DURING THE HOME INSPECTION
When you and your inspector are examining a home, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. They’re there to check the property, but they’re also there to answer any questions you might have about the structure and features of the house. If you see something that you think might be an issue or don’t understand what the house inspector is saying, speak up. It’s always better to ask too many questions than not enough when making such a large and intricate purchase.
WHAT IF THE RESULTS OF THE HOUSE INSPECTION AREN’T FAVORABLE?
Just because a home is brand new or appears to be in outstanding condition doesn’t imply it won’t have problems when you get your home inspection report. Don’t panic if you see problems; instead, take action to see whether there is a possible solution.
Contact your realtor right away to discuss the findings. They should be able to advise you if it’s still a good idea to proceed with the purchase and, if so, what types of seller concessions you should ask for. Because sellers want to transfer titles as badly as buyers do, they’re typically willing to make concessions based on home inspection reports. This could include scheduling and paying for the repairs yourself, or decreasing the purchase price to account for the repair costs. Some of these contracts require you, the buyer, to renounce liability, which means you won’t be able to sue later if problems arise. When bartering, focus on important repairs rather than minor cosmetic flaws that you may easily fix yourself.
A home inspection report may be sufficient grounds to back out of a purchase, especially if the seller refuses to budge on the price. If this is the case, consider it an asset that has prevented you from having to pay for or deal with expensive repairs, and continue your home search.
DON’T SKIP HAVING YOUR HOUSE INSPECTED
Unlike a house assessment, many mortgage lenders do not need a mandatory house inspection before releasing funds for your loan. Choosing not to participate, on the other hand, is still a bad idea. A house inspection exposes critical information that you might not see until it’s too late, yet the $300 or so it costs is usually less than the cost of future repairs. Only if you or someone close to you has construction experience should you forego a house inspection, but even then, it never hurts to have an objective eye on a house.
A home inspection is a crucial part of making sure you’re buying the right house. Make certain you work with a reputable organization that comes well recommended, and that you are fully present and attentive throughout the inspection. An inspection is a great method to learn more about the home you’re buying from the inside out, as well as any potential future costs.
Summary: How To Schedule A Home Inspection
One of the most important things you should do when buying a home is to arrange a home inspection. The home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn about any concerns with the property that the seller failed to mention, as well as any impending difficulties that could result in expensive repairs after you close. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to hire a home inspector and schedule the inspection. It’s difficult to know where to start if you’ve never done it before.
If you have any questions about how to schedule a home inspection contact me today.