A home inspection is a crucial step in the home buying process. In fact, according to a recent poll by All Star Home Inspectors, 99% of realtors recommend a home inspection to their clients. Neglecting to have a home inspected could be devastating as a new homeowner. Here are four things you should know about home inspections:
- The details of a home inspection give you negotiating power.: A home inspection is all encompassing, meaning the inspector will look over the house top to bottom, noting all issues he/she spots along the way. Some of these issues will be minor and will be mostly noted for your reference, but should not impact the sale. These are minor things like cracks in the cement driveway, or a drippy bathroom faucet. Some will be more serious, but not necessarily deal-breakers such as mold in the attic that needs treatment, or out-of-date electrical systems that need attention. These are the items on an inspection that can give you as a buyer negotiating power! You may either request that the seller fix these issues before you close on the property, or you may request a credit, allowing you to purchase the home for a lower price, saving the funds to make repairs to the property after you’ve purchased it.
- Inspections are a way to get to know your new house.: Every home has quirks and unique characteristics, and many of these features will be noted during an inspection. Perhaps it’s a roof that’s pitched in an unusual way, or maybe mature trees that surround the house that will require maintenance, or equipment, like the a/c unit or water heater, that are reaching their life expectancy. These are things you should be aware of as a homeowner, and you may not have noticed them without the expertise of a home inspector.
- Take heed in who you hire!: Hiring a home inspector can feel like a shot in the dark, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area your new potential home is in! Your realtor will probably not choose a home inspector for you, but can provide you with a list of reputable companies, many of which meet or exceed the standards set by the American Society of Home Inspectors.
- It’s a good idea for you and your agent to attend the inspection.: While this is not mandatory, it can be a good idea, primarily to ask questions for future negotiations. The terms of the final deal are often based on what is found at the home inspection, so it’s helpful if the agents are fully informed first hand by the inspector.