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The Ins and Outs of Home Inspections

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Happy Friday!

One of the most integral parts of the home purchase process is the home inspection. It’s one make-or-break part of the contract and it’s the most likely time that a home buyer’s contract on a home will fall apart.

After going under contract on a home, a buyer has between 7 and 10 days to complete their home inspection, submit any requests of the seller, and send along the accompanying reports.

When buyers are purchasing a property, we highly recommend that they have a professional and accredited home inspector conduct a thorough home inspection. The home inspector will inspect the following components of the property:

-Kitchen Appliances
-Plumbing
-Electrical
-Air Conditioning and Heating Systems
-Ventilation
-Roof and Attic
-Foundation
-General Structure

In addition to the basic home inspection, home buyers can also have additional inspections done, including inspections for radon, mold, lead based paint, and sewer issues.

The inspection is not designed to account for every minor problem or cosmetic defect in the home, rather it is intended to report on major damage or serious problems that may require repair either at the time of purchase or in the foreseeable future.

A home cannot “pass or fail” an inspection and a home inspector will not tell a buyer whether he or she thinks the home is worth the amount being offered. The inspector’s job is to make sure that home buyers are aware of current issues and repairs that are necessary.

After the home inspection, home buyers have a couple of options. A buyer can decide that the home is not right for them. It may be that the home requires too many repairs or the cost is prohibitive for them to move forward. If that is the case, a home buyer can terminate their contract and receive their earnest money deposit back.

Alternately, a buyer can decide they would like to request the seller make repairs or concessions to the price. The seller may be willing to negotiate on having items repaired or for a credit for completion of repairs. At this point, home buyers and sellers can enter into negotiations to get inspection items addressed. If all parties can come to agreement to move forward, great! If buyers and sellers cannot come to an agreement, then the contract automatically terminates and buyers receive their earnest money deposit back. The only cost that is not recuperable for the buyer is the cost of any home inspections completed. As long as buyers stick to the inspection dates and deadlines written into their contract, their earnest money deposits are protected and can be returned in the event of a terminated contract. Buyers should be in communication with their real estate agent to make sure they are abiding by the rules of the contract.

We recommend that home buyers be present at the home inspection. This is to the buyer’s advantage as they will be able to clearly understand the inspection report, and know exactly which areas of the home need attention. Plus, they can get answers to any questions they have, tips for maintenance, and a lot of general information that will help them once they move into their new home. Most importantly, a home inspection allows buyers to see the home through the eyes of an objective third party.

As always, if you have questions about homes, don’t hesitate to reach out. Until next time!

Allison and Ken