What Buyers Need to Know About Home Inspections
The home inspection: an often critical component that can make or break a closing. Many first-time buyers don’t know what to expect during a home inspection. As a result, they may be nervous or anxious. On the other hand, they may not see or understand the value of a home inspection, putting them at risk for buying a property with serious deficiencies.
Knowing what to expect during the inspection phase will prepare you for the potential “surprises” ahead. Here are 6 frequently asked questions about home inspections. Talk through these topics with your agent once you have made an offer – or even before – for smoother sailing.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home is probably one of most expensive purchases you will ever make. To know that you are making a good decision, you need to learn as much about the house as possible. A home inspection with a trained inspector may reveal safety issues and major or minor defects on the property. The inspector will check the condition of the home in areas you may not be able to see or easily access, like the roof.
What is a home inspection subject?
The home inspection subject protects buyers like you by giving you the right to cancel the sales contract without forfeiting your ready money if the inspection reports a substantial list of defects. Often the subject to home inspection will actually include an accumulated dollar value, where upon reaching that amount, it is deemed that the "subject to inspection" can be enforced, giving you the opportunity to back away from the purchase. Alternately, you can present the home inspection findings to your agent and request renegotiation with the Seller.
How much does a home inspection usually cost?
Home inspection prices can vary by inspector and by region, but expect to spend several hundred dollars (typically $400-$600). Since this is your best opportunity before closing to identify any problems, this is not the time to skimp on costs or look for a “bargain” inspector. You want to make sure you hire a thorough, reputable inspector.
Who do you recommend?
As your agent I have a list of inspectors I have used in the past which I can share with you. Call me to receive my true an tried resources.
Will you be there during the home inspection?
Inspectors that I recommend are bonded and can be alone when doing the physical inspection but I can be present if needed. You as the buyer should try to be present, too. The inspector will take photos and provide a detailed summary report, but you should not miss the opportunity to be there and ask questions. The inspector can point out which small repairs you can do yourself and which larger problems may require a specialist. Some inspectors will also offer home maintenance tips as they discover areas that are in good condition now but may need attention in the future.
After the home inspection, what are the next steps?
Depending on the home inspection findings, we will proceed with the sale as is, negotiate for a better price,request repairs or choose to back out of the sale.
Inspectors are trained to look for problems so don't get disappointed when they find things that are not 100% in order as no home is perfect. Every home will have at least minor issues revealed during a home inspection – even new construction. As your real estate agent, I am happy to offer advice based on my previous experience, but choosing whether or not to proceed with the sale after the home inspection is ultimately your decision.