According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), home inspections are:
a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Failure to obtain a home inspection could potentially cost you a great deal of money and hassles in the long run.
What exactly is a home inspection though?
In a nutshell, home buyers hire a home inspector to come to the property to thoroughly go through everything in the home (wiring, plumbing, roof, foundation, heating, cooling, water pressure, appliances, and much more), who then determines the overall condition of the home.
Things to keep in mind:
- 99.9% of homes (even new homes) rarely pass an inspection with no problems.
- Not every problem found is a big issue
- When negotiating for repairs, focus on those items that affect health or safety
- Ask the inspector to highlight the items that are health or safety related that are major issues
- If you have any questions about the report, call the inspector.
- A home inspection is typically performed within the option period.
So, you might be wondering why you need an inspection:
- The small investment of a home inspection can potentially save you thousands, plus it can provide some peace of mind on the home you are purchasing.
- A home inspection allows you to negotiate for repairs on the home before you complete the option period. (See details in the next section)
- The “bones” of a home cannot often be seen from the outside, so you need a licensed professional to check out the home from top to bottom so you can make an educated decision about how to proceed. The saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, comes into play here. Just because it looks great on the outside doesn’t mean that it is a solidly built home.
- In addition to structural and wiring issues, the inspector will also take note of any pests (like termites, etc.).
What happens after the home inspection?
- You can negotiate for repairs during the option period. If both sides agree to the repairs (which would be made prior to closing), then the contract will continue past the option period and move towards closing.
- If repairs are not going to be made, your REALTOR® can instead ask for a credit (for the buyers) at closing in lieu of repairs. If that is agreed to by both parties, then the contract will continue past the option period and move towards closing.
- If neither side can agree upon the repairs, or the cost of the repairs is too great, the buyer can terminate the contract (if it is within the option period) and receive his earnest money back.
Hopefully this answers any questions you might have about home inspections. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help!