A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. It usually takes place after the buyer has made a contingent offer. Typically, the buyer pays for the inspection, which costs around $400 to $500. Some lenders may require an inspection, but if yours doesn’t, you should have it done anyway. It’s a smart investment to use the services of a Professional Home Inspector to learn the condition of the home and its components, such as the condition of the roof, the heating system, plumbing, electrical. Is there any evidence of water in the basement? Will any major items in the home need repair or replacement any time soon?, etc. A good home inspector will recommend the services of an engineer or specialist in a particular field if he or she feels the need for further investigation is needed in a particular area. .A thorough inspection can save both parties a lot of heartache down the road. If you’re the seller, you might consider paying for a pre-listing inspection, especially if the home is older or you suspect significant problems. It’s usually cheaper to fix problems before selling than it is to make concessions to the buyer or lose out on a sale altogether. Just keep in mind that once you’re aware of problems with the home, you are legally obligated to disclose them to potential buyers.
What a Home Inspection Does
An inspection is intended to verify the integrity of the home. If the inspection uncovers a problem that affects the safety or livability of the building, and the problem will be costly to repair, buyers usually have some recourse (dependent on clauses in the purchase agreement.) A buyer may be able to ask the seller to pay for repairs, renegotiate on the offer price, or retract their offer altogether. Examples of home problems that would warrant this type of action include:
- Water intrusion/flooding in the basement
- Black mold
- Problems with the HVAC system
- Lead paint in homes built before 1978
- Electrical wiring that does not meet current standards (usually only a problem in very old homes)
- Lead water supply pipes
- Termite infestation
- Defective foundation
What a Home Inspection Does Not Do
A home inspection isn’t intended to give the buyer leverage to negotiate price based on minor repairs or cosmetic issues. At this point in the home buying process, the buyer has already put in an offer, which should be based on a visual inspection of the home. Minor problems visible to the naked eye, such as outdated windows, as well as any problems previously disclosed by the seller, should already have been calculated into the buyer’s offer.
Selling and buying a home are both major transactions with a lot of potential for hiccups. Working with a seasoned real estate professional, on either side of the table, can save you a lot of unnecessary stress. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, call Diane Beckmann at 845-709-4758 to find out more about how an experienced agent can help you navigate this process.