The Home Inspection Process
Picking a home inspector can be a tricky issue. Often a Realtor, a friend, or co-worker may recommend someone in this arena. However, I feel as a buyer, you may want to speak to at least two inspectors and get a feel for who fits your needs and personality. Find someone who will take their time , not only to really inspect your new home, but to also take their time to go over any and all findings, after the inspection.
Once the inspection is set up, and you have an appointment, make sure you are there for at least the end of the inspection. Give yourself some time to meet the inspector and go over any findings in regard to your new home. It is my practice to always attend the end of the inspection. This allows me, as the buyer’s agent to put together the list of needed repairs for the home. At this time, the purchaser can sign the request for repairs and this can be sent to the owner’s agent for presentation. It is important that you, and your Realtor, have a clear understanding of what has been found, and what the owner is expected to do for you, prior to closing on your new home. Always make sure you get proof of the repairs such as receipts. And confirm that they are done by a qualified / licensed individual.
As a buyer, your Realtor should be educating you on this process as time passes. For example, this inspection is not for you to negotiate a new sales price, or to get items done that do not follow your contractual agreement. Items such as a roof at the end of its life, does not necessarily get replaced, if it is not leaking. A heat pump at the end of its life, is a similar situation. If there are no leaks, and HVAC is working properly, than this meets the terms of the contractual agreement.
Home inspections are to address structural and mechanical issues. Not cosmetic items such as; torn flooring, worn carpet, stress cracks in drywall , curling decking boards, etc.. The purpose is more for electrical issues, plumbing leaks, HVAC not working properly, roofs that are leaking, basement water issues and so forth. Items of more severity, again, not cosmetic issues, or items that were not code when the home was built. For example, a home built in the sixties would not have ground fault interrupters by the sinks, or other water outlets in the home. This was not code at the time the home was built. Most contracts state these items are “grandfathered” in vs. items that should be installed in the home you are buying. Again, gaining knowledge and assistance, is key to making this process less stressful.
If your Realtor is strong and confident in what they do, they will guide you through this process. Making you understand what is reasonable and what is not. Once the list is given to the owners and they respond, make sure you are satisfied with what is being done for you. But, always remember to do the right thing and create a win / win situation. One day you might be a home seller too!