Real estate inspections can make or break the transaction process, so it is best to understand them thoroughly. You will confidently transact in the real estate home inspection process if you know the various things involved and how they affect the transactions.
This article is meant for both buyer and seller home inspection to help both parties ace the home inspection game.
Buyer Home Inspection: Everything You Need To Know
How to Pick a Home Inspector
To ensure an in depth home inspection as a buyer, selecting the right home inspector is important. They can help you decide whether the home is fit to buy or not, along with several other details. Here are some tips to know while looking for a Home Inspector:
- Ask for a reference from your realtor.
- Search for a firm that is insured and bonded.
- Check that the inspection firm is only into inspections – not home renovations and repairs.
- Understand what the inspection includes and the duration.
- Make sure that you can follow the inspector while he/she inspects the home.
- Ask for a sample inspection report.
- Compare the costs of different companies.
- Try to find an inspector with experience in the type of home you are looking at.
- Pick an ASHI certified or InterNACHI inspector. These are esteemed organizations that offer inspectors advanced levels of training and certifications.
When searching for a home inspector, you can also use Google. Search using with relevant keywords such as “home inspection for buyers” or “home inspection companies near me.”
Home buying inspection: Common Questions for Home Inspectors
When the home inspector is done inspecting the home you plan on buying, don’t wait to ask any queries regarding the property. If you are confused about what to ask, here is a list of important questions that will help you understand the property better.
Note: some of these questions should be asked before the inspection begins and others after completion.
- What is the cost of the home inspection?
- What does the home inspection include?
- How will you perform the inspection?
- [For a certain aspect, say the ceiling] Can you explain the cracks on here? (The hHome iInspector will explain everything to you in detail.)
- Is this problem hugebig? It would help if you know which issues need more attention.
- Does this problem need expert monitoring? Diagnosing problems sometimes needs more specific expertise.
- Is this issue normal? (say, hairline cracks in walls) You need to be clear if the problem is common or specific to your home.
- Can you guide me on stuff I should fix when I move into the home? Some issues are better addressed instantly before moving in.
Negotiating After Home Inspection
Not all homes are maintained properly. There exist poorly maintained homes, and those are the ones to watch out for. After the sellers home inspection, there is a possibility for negotiation of certain repairs. Remember the below tips before you begin:
Credits are usually better than repairs.
You can get a credit instead of actual repairs, which can be useful for your sale. Sellers are usually more comfortable in offering the credits instead of taking the trouble of getting the repairs done. If you accept the credits and take up the repair work, there are high chances that the repairs will be good as you’ll ensure better quality than the seller.
Trust your Real Estate Agent
Your realtor knows what repairs are important and what repairs can be kept for later. Let the agent guide you through this process and negotiate on your behalf without compromising the deal.
Home iInspections are done to spot the major structural, mechanical, or safety defects. The Home buyers Inspection isn’t about presenting a “punch list” of everything wrong with the property. Focus on important issues that need to be addressed. Be a reasonable buyer.
Reasonable Inspection Requests
Some inspection requests perfectly make sense, many others – not so much! Focus on making relevant requests, and the seller can grant comfortably. Unnecessary demands can frustrate the seller, and they may be forced to terminate the deal. That’s the last thing you’d want in a home inspection process.
Some unreasonable questions to ask a seller include:
- Cosmetic issues
- Anything under $100
- A window with a broken seal (if you spotted it before making an offer)
- Renovations you are planning
- Cracks in a basement floor
- Loose fixtures, railings, and related issues that are easy to fix
- Trivial water damage that can be fixed
- External buildings – like sheds, outhouses, etc.
- Cosmetic landscaping or insignificant yard problems
Note: Many sellers like to inspect their property before handing it to the buyer. If this is true in your case, ensure that your realtor interacts with the seller home inspector to get a heads up about the property, which will help your home inspector.
Home Inspectors Can Make Mistakes Too
Remember that home inspectors are humans, just like you. They might make mistakes occasionally. Expecting a hundred percent efficiency from your home inspector isn’t right and will lead to disappointment.
While Home Inspectors try their best to ensure that the buyers home inspection is thorough, you need to understand that it’s okay to see a miss occasionally and work with your inspector to rectify it. After reading this article, you’ll know many problems that aren’t easy to spot in the first place.
You can also check with the seller to know if they ever faced specific problems in the home that you can expect as well.
The Home Inspection is Not Gospel
As stated above, home inspectors make mistakes, and that’s okay. Homebuyers usually think that everything that comes out of a Home their iInspector’s mouth is the gospel. This thinking needs to be changed.
As a buyer, you should not assume things and be open to changes.
Seller Home Inspection: Everything You Need To Know
When selling a house, it is important to understand how does a home inspection help buyers. The smoothness of the transaction will depend on how well you answer this question.
How to Plan for a Home Inspection
An important rule of home inspection for sellers is not to cover any defects you know exist in the home. The home inspector will identify them anyway, and you might land in trouble for breaking the law.
Now that you’re aware of the basic rule, here are some more tips to prepare you for the buyer’s Home inspection:
- After moving out of the house, ensure that the power remains on.
- Ensure that all light bulbs are working by checking them before the inspection. The inspector will look to check all areas of your home. They won’t need extra effort to see if the receptacle is not working or it’s just the defective light bulb.
- Try to clear the closets so that the inspector can check the insides properly.
- Move the items away from basement walls so that the inspector can check for cracks and water penetration spots.
- If your closet contains an attic, ensure it is accessible.
- Replace the filters in your furnace and leave any service tags so the inspector can see them.
- If your home is idle, ensure that the power is turned on so that the systems can be inspected.
Remember that home inspections for buyers is one of the most important hurdles a seller has to clear. It is important to ensure your house does not have any major structural issues. Do what’s required to make sure this part of the transaction goes smoothly.
Pre-Listing Home Inspection: Pros and Cons
Home inspection for sellers is becoming more popular as they allow the sellers to enjoy better control over the sale. Analyzing your home’s condition before the home inspection process for buyers starts is a good thing to do. The expense is insignificant compared to dealing with problems you had no idea of.
Of course, this process has its pros and cons that you need to consider.
PROS of Pre-Selling Home Inspection:
- You get to know the exact condition of your home.
- Pricing the home correctly becomes easier.
- Minimizes stress.
- You can make repairs (if any).
- Less possibility of negotiations.
- Help increase the buyer’s confidence.
- Make your realtor’s job easier.
CONS of Pre-Selling Home Inspection:
- Pre-listing inspection comes with a cost.
- You have to disclose issues (if any) according to Disclosure laws.
- Your home will have two inspections.
How Do Home Inspections work: Top Home Inspection Issues
Reasonable buyers know that no home is perfect. However, they do expect it to be comfortable and in proper shape. This means that if their Home Inspector finds a major structural problem, the buyer might terminate the sale.
The home inspection issues that can terminate the transaction include:
- Structural issues
- Termites & other pests
- Drainage & water issues
- Mold problems
- Radon issues
- Wiring & electrical issues
- Plumbing issues
- Well water issues
- Asbestos issues
- Lead paint
- A bad roof that requires replacement
Remember, these problems don’t have to be a deal stopper. However, it’s best to get these repaired. Fewer home issues translate to a smoother sale – especially at a justifiable price.
Things To Repair Before Selling a House
Many home repairs are a waste of money and do not affect the sale. On the other hand, some repairs can’t be avoided. They have a high return on investment and can enhance your home’s desirability. However, such repairs are costly.
Below are some important repairs you can’t miss before listing your home:
- Room Paintings
- Cleaning up the exterior & adding accents, like basic landscaping, that enhances the curb appeal.
- Small kitchen repairs like painting, installing new fixtures, and the latest countertops.
- Small bathroom repairs like replacing missing tiles, washing or replacing grout, and adding a fresh paint coat.
- Enhanced lighting to make the home more inviting and spacious
- Refinishing hardwood floors.
- Ensure everything works, like doorknobs and locks.
- Pre-sale check—to let you fix the repairs the Home Inspector will definitely find.
Home inspection as a seller is not mandatory but can make or break the sale. That’s why the experts always recommend it.
What to Disclose After a Home Inspection
It is important to understand that disclosure laws vary for different areas. In some places, a seller needs to disclose every detail about the property in question.
In other places, is it the exact opposite. This is called Caveat Emptor or “let the buyer beware.”
However, Caveat emptor does not take away your obligation to answer the buyer’s questions. That would be deemed as fraud. Usually, sellers think that selling a home as-is allows them to hide some aspects of the property that might compromise the sale.
WRONG! The buyers home inspections will most likely reveal those defects.
You have to be honest when a buyer asks you a direct question. Not doing so is asking for legal action after the home buyer inspection.
Home Inspection Nuances Buyers & Sellers Should Understand
Your Realtor Should Attend the Inspection
“Is it necessary for my realtor to be present at the inspection site?”
Both buyers and sellers commonly ask this question. The answer is a loud YES! Your Real estate agent is expected to look after your best interests. One of the ways to do this is to be physically present at the inspection location.
You can’t expect your agent to represent your best interests if they don’t take your problems to be theirs. This is a non-negotiable thing.
The below reasons will shed more light on the above point:
- Your agent can explain problems as the inspector identifies them.
- Some home inspectors can exaggerate a problem, stressing the buyer or seller unnecessarily.
- The realtor can only help in the best possible way if they are fully aware of the problem.
- It is difficult to negotiate issues between sellers and buyers if you haven’t witnessed the problem first.
- It’s easy to misunderstand certain issues during the real estate house inspections if the realtor is absent.
Buying a house and its inspection is a challenging task for buyers, but the result is worth it. Home Inspection is equally important for sellers and no party should avoid it. The best real estate transactions are the ones where it takes the least time and effort for the buyer and seller to complete the transaction.
We hope this article has served its purpose of acquainting you with everything about the home inspection process.