Owning a home is one of the most common long-term goals for the average American. It’s also one of the fastest ways to increase your net worth.
It’s essential, though, for buyers to understand the obligations associated with a proper home inspection.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the home inspection process.
1. Buyers Are Responsible for Inspections
It’s not uncommon for buyers to be unaware of the fact that they are the ones who are tasked with organizing a home inspection. After all, there would be a conflict of interest if sellers were the ones organizing an inspection of their home.
This also means you’ll have to allocate both time and money into getting this responsibility done.
Fortunately, this gives you a bit of flexibility when it comes to who you hire and when the inspection is conducted. You’ll be able to research the most reputable home inspectors in your area and choose a day that works best for you and the seller.
Just to make sure, though, that you don’t leave this obligation until the last minute. Otherwise, complications can arise in the future that makes the transaction more difficult.
2. What Inspections Cover
Before you hire an inspector, it’s important to have an understanding of what exactly home inspections cover. In general, you can expect the professional you employ to take a look at the following areas of the home:
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- The house’s structure
- Floors, walls, and ceilings
- The foundation of the home
- The attic and insulation
The inspector will assess each location to determine what type of condition it’s in and make note of any abnormalities or damages that need to be repaired. Since many problems can be overlooked by the average person, this makes a proper home inspection all the more crucial.
3. You Can Be Present
Not everyone is aware of the fact that you can attend a home inspection while the inspector is there. As long as you don’t interfere with her ability to complete their job properly, there’s no issue with attending the actual inspection.
This will serve as a great opportunity to find out more about the property. You can ask questions you otherwise may not have thought to ask if you weren’t there at the time they were conducting their evaluation.
At the end of the inspection, you can ask for their final thoughts and to provide an opinion of the property as a whole.
In order to avoid impeding their work, you should keep your questions sparse and as brief as possible while the inspection is taking place. If there are any necessary repairs, you could also ask them if they are able to refer you to a reliable contractor to handle them.
4. You Can Negotiate Repairs
After the inspection has been completed, you’ll be able to use what your home inspector found in order to determine any outstanding repairs that need to be made.
In general, neither party will want to be responsible for the majority of the repairs. Sellers often push them onto the buyer, while buyers claim that the seller should be the one responsible for making major fixes.
An option to keep in mind, though, is using outstanding repairs as a form of leverage when negotiating the price of a home. For instance, a home that has significant issues with its electrical system may require extensive repairs before the transaction is able to be completed.
The buyer, however, may ask the seller to lower their asking price for the home in exchange for the buyer purchasing the house as-is.
Whether or not this tactic is successful depends on a handful of factors. These include:
- How many repairs need to be made
- The total cost of major repairs
- The total reduction in cost the buyer is asking for
Fortunately, sellers are often willing to work with buyers since they’re the ones trying to get rid of the home. This is especially true for people who need to relocate in the near future.
5. They’re Optional
One of the most surprising facts that buyers may learn about home inspections is that they’re entirely optional. in fact, there’s no part of real estate law that dictates an inspection has to take place— it’s entirely up to the discretion of the buyer.
As you may expect, though, you’ll take on a handful of risks if you choose to forego this option.
You may find a host of problems with the property only a few months after you move in. Even if the house looks presentable on the surface, there could be many issues that you aren’t aware of.
It’s important to note, though, that some banks do require a home inspection to be conducted as part of your mortgage terms. So, be sure to double-check this information before you decide not to hire a professional.
Understanding the Home Inspection Process Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about the home inspection process in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward understanding all that you need to.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.