The Home Inspection process is one of the first things that happen once you enter into a sales contract. If you're buying a home, or just about to enter into a real estate Purchase Contract: you should make sure to order an inspection of the property as soon as your offer is accepted by the seller. If you are working with a real estate agent, have this discussion with them. Most real estate contracts have a blank "_______" space to fill in for the number of days the buyer has to get the inspection done, after the contract is fully executed (signed by seller/buyer). And often, the contract specifies that if it is left blank, the buyer has 15 days. Is this good? Sounds like it, because it gives the buyer more time to search around and get an inspector.
But consider this: what if the property you are putting an offer in on ends up getting MULTIPLE offers? What if the Purchase Amount is the same? How do you get your offer to the TOP of that pile of offers? Tell the seller that you'll get the inspection done with SEVEN or TEN days!! Why? Because the seller doesn't want to wait around unnecessarily while the buyer googles and searches and finally gets an inspection done and weeks later decides they don't like the results and wants to cancel the contract. And certainly, if the results aren't to the buyer's liking, the contract they use may stipulate they can cancel the contract without any penalty (most likely). So offer NOT to tie up the seller necessarily! And you're also making sure you aren't wasting your time either! We recommend seeking out an inspection company ahead of putting any offers in on a property. This way, as soon as your offer is accepted you can order the Inspection and have it done within a few days.
As the buyer, what do you look for from the Home Inspection report? The good news is that these reports can be very lengthy and will attach real-life estimates to most anything they see wrong with the property. For instance, a very common item within Inspection Reports is a missing GFCI outlet (often in a kitchen). Electrical outlets and if GCFI have to do with local codes. If there aren't enough of them, the inspector will add it to the report and assign a basic estimate for the cost of having an electrician come out and install one.
The Report will include each of the components and systems of the property including:
A word of advice: if you are handy at all, or if you have family members or friends that are handy, make sure to share the results of any Inspection Reports with them. OFTENTIMES the Inspection Report will assign repair estimates that are designed to give you an idea of the cost. However, in almost every situation, you can get these things done MUCH MUCH cheaper. Also, the items on the report that the inspector includes will most likely not be things that are required by law to have fixed or repaired, or are actually so cheap and easy to fix yourself, that it should NOT be a deterrent for a buyer to buy the property!
For instance, there are two electrical outlets in the house that aren't working. The Inspection Report will likely estimate the repair cost to be $75 (electrical trip fee to show up) plus another $50 for time, supplies. However, you may want to consider doing a little DO IT YOURSELF REPAIR WORK and replace those electrical outlet yourself! They can be purchased at an ACE Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe's etc for under $2.00. And there are tons of youtube videos on how to easily and quickly replace them yourself. So don't let the results of these inspections scare you! Make sure to have friends, family look at them and get other opinions on who can help fix what repairs, and for how much.
HOWEVER... IF there's some troubling results within the home inspection report like a bad roof that needs replacement soon... know that will most likely cost you many thousands of dollars. That may be something you'll want to try to negotiate the purchase price with: "hey seller, you need a new $15k roof... let's knock off $14k off the purchase price". Or, depending on the Purchase Contract you are using, you could most likely simply cancel the contract if you aren't interested in adopting that or any other significant impending needed repairs.
Home Inspections costs are normally based on the square footage of the property, type of property and location of the property. The average price range is anywhere from $250-$400 for an average sized condo, townhome or single family home. Commercial property is generally more. And larger luxury homes will be more. The more space and components to inspect, the higher the cost for the report.
Depending on the location of the property... most places in the US make the Inspection Report a buyer expense. Why is this a good thing? Because the buyer owns the report. If the results come back perfect, they don't need to share it with the seller. And if the results come back with some big expenses or concerns, the report can be used as a negotiating tool, or to use to cancel the contract and step away completely. The inspection report is not required to be shared with the seller or seller's agent.
No, but it is HIGHLY recommended that you be present. If you can't be there, send your Realtor or a family member or friend. Take notes, ask questions!
There are many. But there are some differences that set some companies apart from their competition. Depending on what's most important to you... here are some questions to ask:
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