Make the most of your home inspection
Why a Buyer Needs a Home Inspection
A home inspection gives the buyer more detailed information than an appraisal--information you need to make a wise decision. In a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth, unbiased look at your potential new home to:
- Evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction, and mechanical systems
- Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced
- Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure, and finishes
What Goes into a Home Inspection
A home inspection gives the buyer an impartial, physical evaluation of the overall condition of the home and items that need to be repaired or replaced. The inspection gives a detailed report on the condition of the structural components, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, insulation and ventilation, air conditioning, and interiors.
Be an Informed Buyer
It is your responsibility to be an informed buyer. Be sure that what you buy is satisfactory in every respect. You have the right to carefully examine your potential new home with a qualified home inspector. You may arrange to do so before signing your contract, or may do so after signing the contract as long as your contract states that the sale of the home depends on the inspection.
A home inspection is usually set up within a few days fter the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. However, before you sign the contract, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
A home inspection not only points out the bad, but the good aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance necessary to keep it up. After a home inspection, you will have a better understanding of the home you are about to purchase, and will be able to make a more confident decision on buying.
It is recommended that a buyer should be present during the inspection. It gives you an opportunity to learn more about the house and ask questions. You will be smarter home owner by the end of the inspection. Most of the inspectors will allow you to join them as long as you let them focus on inspection.
Once the issues are found during inspection, you can work with the seller to fix the issues or modify the sales contract price to take care of these issues on your own later.
Here are some Helpful Hints for a Hassle-Free Home Inspection:
- Select an inspector with training and qualifications. As licensing for home inspectors is not required in most of the United States, professional designations are all the more important. Try to find an inspector who is a member of a professional society, for example the American Society of Home Inspectors.
- Use referrals. Most real estate agents encourage their clients to seek a serious inspection. They’re interested in client satisfaction. Still, agents don’t want to be seen as pushing the services of any one inspector. That’s why you may get as good, or better, referrals from friends or co-workers who have gone through the home inspection process.
- Don’t select just on price. The fee for a home inspection depends on the geographic area as well as the size of the house. A home inspection usually takes about four to eight hours and runs between $300-$800, depending on these factors.
- Don’t confuse an appraisal with an inspection. An appraisal is requested by the buyer’s lender and is designed to determine the market value of the property. It is not a replacement for a home inspection, which provides an in-depth look at such basic home systems as plumbing, heating, air conditioning and roofing.
- Understand the limits of a home inspection. The most thorough home inspector can still miss some items. Some problems are slow to develop, while others are hidden from view. That’s why it’s best to choose a home inspector who is willing to answer your questions — even after you move in.
And once the inspection happens? We can help negotiate the price of your home based on the outcome and can write an Inspection Contingency Clause into the contract if needed.
Why do you 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 will reveal any 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 contingency?
The home inspection contingency protects buyers like you by giving you the right to cancel the sales contract without forfeiting your ready money. If the home inspector finds a problem or problems with the property, you can absolutely back out of the sale. Or you can present the home inspection findings to the seller and request repairs or a cash credit before closing.
How much does a home inspection usually cost?
Home inspection prices can vary by inspector and by region, but in Dallas metro area it will cost upwards of $350. Since this is your only 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.
Will you be there during the home inspection?
Yes, I provide a high level of customer service and as your agent, I will be there for the home inspection if requested. You 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.
Prepare your buyers for the inevitable by reminding them that no home is perfect. Every home will have at least minor issues revealed during a home inspection – even new construction. Let them know that, as their real estate agent, you are happy to offer advice based on your previous experience, but choosing whether or not to proceed with the sale after the home inspection is ultimately their decision.