So you’re buying a new home and your offer is accepted. What’s next? Your real estate agent should have outlined the process for you and in most cases as soon as your offer gets accepted you will have a certain number of days to conduct a home inspection.
It is important to remember to talk to your agent about the inspection contingency timelines when writing up the offer. You need to know how many days you have to complete the inspection, how many days to respond with a request for repairs, and so on. It is all contained in the contract and it will be referenced by all parties to maintain a valid purchase agreement.
With my buyers, I always have a list of preferred home inspectors that I regularly refer to clients because I know the quality of service they provide. I let my buyers choose one or one of their own and get the inspection scheduled.
So why is the home inspection so important?
Here is Frank Buttermore, Certified Home Inspector and one of my top preferred vendors.
In my view, it is a simple decision; buying a home is typically the largest investment most families will make in their lifetime. The information and education provided during a quality Home Inspection can prove invaluable in the decision-making process as well as providing a thorough understanding of the condition of the home and operation of its systems before making that commitment.
You may say: “Of course the Home Inspector is in favor of a pre-purchase inspection, it’s in his best interest….”
As a Home Inspector, I would actually hire an Inspector for my own home purchase rather than do it myself. Why would I do that? Simple…. A Home Inspector is looking at a home with a completely different mindset from the potential buyer. The buyer is looking at a home to see if the furniture will fit properly and if the basement will make a great man cave; taking measurements and admiring at the custom fire pit – you name it. The inspector, however, is looking for latent and hidden defects or conditions that could lead to issues (and potentially expensive) failures or needed repairs that may not be easily detected in a couple of quick walk-throughs. This is why a third-party home inspection can be productive in finding serious issues.
Here are just a few very common defects that are present in many homes, no matter what price range they are in.
Electrical: Inoperable outlets, lights. Improperly installed fixtures, improperly added circuits in breaker panel, outdated or undersized breaker panels. Improper splicing of circuits. Older houses with outdated and unsafe wiring and/or updates and so on…. Approximately 75% of my home inspections reveal enough defects to warrant a visit by an electrician for immediate correction.
Maintenance: Improperly maintained systems (furnace/water heater/roof maintenance/drainage and gutter issues) typically lead to failure and expensive repair. Approximately 80% of my home inspections have a recommendation for an HVAC contractor to clean/maintain and/or perform repairs on a furnace, A/C unit, or water heater.
Moisture intrusion: It is the home inspector’s responsibility to inspect the areas that hom
eowners (and potential homebuyers) typically are not looking at (attics, crawlspaces) or cannot detect moisture issues without using test equipment (finished basement walls). Most moisture intrusion issues are correctable. (needed roof repair/maintenance, poor grading along the foundation, inoperable gutters and downspouts, neglected plumbing leaks, etc.) Prolonged moisture intrusion can lead to foundation failure as well as mold or other environmental issues. Proper inspection and correction is critical.
Reporting: Most inspectors provide a detailed home inspection report that you can use to help make your decision. Later, as the homeowner, you can refer to your report for years to come as a source of information related to condition and maintenance.
Final Thoughts. . .
When you are reviewing the home inspection report and deciding what or if you would like to ask the seller to repair, it is important that you aren’t extremely petty. You need to remember that you are purchasing a used home (even new construction homes have some defects). The home will not be perfect. A roof that leaks, yes that is a major concern. But a cracked light switch cover? A few nail pops in the drywall? Those are the type of things that cost very little to fix. On top of that, if you go to the seller and demand these type of things be corrected, you stand a good chance of making the seller upset. Think about how would you feel if when selling your home someone came to you and wanted money back for a cracked light plate? It’s a little unreasonable and you should focus more on the issues that affect the overall value of the home. Keep in mind, depending on how your agent presents a request like this to the seller, they may be able to void your contract and find a different buyer that isn’t so picky. Again, make sure your agent knows your contract and also explains it to you.
Get your home inspection done by a professional and contact us for more information on inspections or a list of our preferred inspectors.
**Frank Buttermore is a Certified Home Inspector and Owner/Operator of HTI Inspection Services, LLC in Howell, MI. For more information you can contact Frank at 517-404-2552 or by email at email@example.com