Arguably one of the most important parts of purchasing a home, inspections are a critical step to ensure buyers are informed about the home they intend to purchase. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
Due to the current sellers' market, inspections have become a common step that some buyers have chosen to skip in an effort to navigate a competitive market. However, regardless of the age of the home or the competitiveness of the market, inspections are important for most, if not all, home buyers. Inspections can uncover hidden issues that may not be immediately visible, find updates that may be needed, and they provide an overall assessment of the home. Additionally, the information gathered from an inspection can provide buyers with the ability to ask the seller to repair any health and safety issues that may be present. In worst case scenarios the buyer has the ability to walk away from a home purchase if extensive problems are found. Lastly, one of the less obvious benefits of an inspection is that it gives the buyer the ability to spend time in the home, getting to know it better. So where does a buyer start?
- Decide on a property to be purchased! With the help of your Realtor, come up with a fair offer, submit and have the offer accepted.
- Once the offer has been accepted, it is now time to schedule the inspection. Don't have a preferred home inspection professional? Ask your Realtor! Most Realtors have relationships with various industry professionals and should be able to provide you with a trusted name.
- Complete the inspection! Pay close attention to the professional during inspection; they will oftentimes briefly alert buyers to various points of interest. This is also an opportunity for buyers to speak with an expert and ask questions.
- Take a look at your report. Determine if the work needed to be completed is within the scope anticipated by the buyer. Home inspectors will look for any and all flaws, no matter how small. When you receive your report, understand that not all items are a cause for concern. Your agent and inspector will be able to assist you in determining what are red flags.
- Consult with your real estate agent! Within your inspection period you need to respond to the seller either accepting the home as-is or asking them to complete some repairs. Your Realtor will draw up a Removal of Contingency Addendum. This form releases the inspection contingency in the contract and allows for repairs mutually agreed upon by the buyer and seller. In some circumstances the repairs may be such that the buyer decides to walk away from the purchase seeking a release of the contract or at times the seller may decide to offer a lower price for the buyer to continue with the transaction.
Now that the inspection has been completed, you are ready to move on to the next step! Still in need of a real estate agent? Click here to read about Why You Should Hire a PURE Realtor?