For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest investment they’ll ever make. Getting an independent, expert opinion on the operation ability of the structure and its systems is a no-brainer. A home inspection is the buyer’s last opportunity to discover problems with the house before purchasing. And it’s a chance for the seller to address those problems and negotiate pricing with the buyer. But not all home inspectors have the same experience, training, or certifications. Here’s what you should know about a home inspection as a home seller or buyer. Learn what the home inspector will look for and how you should handle any issues that are discovered during the home inspection.
What is a home inspection?
A house inspection is a professional third-party inspection of a property you are considering purchasing. Its purpose is to assess the home from a structural and safety aspect, as well as to ensure that you’re purchasing a hazard-free, up-to-code property that’s a solid financial investment. Although home inspections aren’t necessary, there are few situations in which you’d want to skip one.
What you should know about a home inspection
Home inspection contingency
Your first step is to include a home inspection contingency (due diligence contingency) in your sales contract. This gives you a specified period in which to have a professional inspection performed on the property. Moreover, it safeguards the buyer, who has the right to terminate the contract or negotiate repairs based on the findings of a professional home inspection.
How does the home inspection contingency work?
In most cases, the inspection period is anywhere from one to two weeks from the date your sales contract is signed, though it depends on your specific agreement. The contingency period is supposed to give you enough time to:
- Find a good inspector.
- Set up your appointment (and, ideally, attend it).
- Receive your inspection report.
- Get any follow-up or additional inspections.
- Decide how you’d like to move forward.
Hire a good home inspector
You should hire a thorough and skilled home inspector. Your home inspector should have all of their credentials up to date, as well as all of their training and educational courses. Moreover, your home inspector should have a comprehensive insurance policy. This insurance policy protects you in the event the home inspector is hurt on your property. In addition, your home inspector should possess extensive knowledge in the area you are purchasing a home. This ensures they’re aware of any current problems with soil, pest and even home builders in your region.
Read your home inspection report
After the home inspector has completed their work on your property, they will compile a detailed report of their findings. A section for each room or area of the house should be included in the report, as well as a remark regarding anything that needs to be repaired, is damaged, or isn’t working.
Make your decision
After you’ve reviewed your inspection reports and determined which issues are big and which aren’t so important, you’ll need to make a decision. Do you go through with the deal, renegotiate it or go back to the drawing board?
Ensure the seller has carried out repairs
If you decide to have the seller make repairs to the house, make sure they are done to your satisfaction. Schedule a walk-through of the home with your agent once the repairs are completed so you can monitor the progress and keep your closing on track. You may wish to have your inspector come back for a second examination if the seller made extensive repairs to the foundation, roof, or other key components of the house.
Close on your home
Finally, you can proceed with the closing once you’ve verified that the seller has satisfactorily carried out the necessary repairs.