The seller has accepted your offer. Now what? This is a crucial step in the home buying process, as it helps uncover any potential issues with the home prior to signing contracts and prevents any surprises after you move in.
Finding a Home Inspector We can recommend home inspectors, but if you are searching on your own, there are a few things you should do:
Make sure the inspector is licensed in your state. Check for certifications from ASHI, InterNACHI, or NAHI.
Verify the inspector’s reputation by reading reviews online. A professional and thorough inspector will save you from problems and expenses in the long run.
Confirm what’s covered in the inspection report and what’s not. Things that are not commonly covered in home inspections include pools, sewer lines and septic tanks, irrigation, fireplaces and chimneys, pests and radon. They may be provided at an additional cost, so be sure to inquire if any of these items apply to your home.
Items to Inspect
It’s also a good idea to keep a list of items you want inspected or have questions about so that you can talk these through with your inspector. Common items to be inspected include:
Walkways and driveways
Basements or crawl spaces
Doors and windows
Walls, floor and ceilings
Stairs, steps and railings
Electrical system, including outlets, panels and wiring
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
Plumbing, including water heater, fixtures and faucets
While not required, you should always be present during your home inspection. As the inspector walks through the home with you, he or she will not only identify any major issues, but will also provide helpful information about normal repairs and maintenance involved in owning a home. As your agents, we will accompany you to the inspection to stay informed of the home's condition.
Reviewing the Report
Once you receive the report from the inspector, be sure to review it thoroughly. Ask any follow up questions and get clarification on anything that might be confusing. If you need to make repairs, it's a good idea to get an estimate from a contractor.
If there are any major items on the report that affect your willingness to purchase the home, you have the option to back out so long as your offer includes an inspection contingency. For minor repairs, you may be able to negotiate with the seller for credits and/or repairs. As your agents, we will assist in these negotiations.
Buying a home is a major decision so you should take extra steps to make sure the home is right for you. Defects can be hidden and repairs can be costly, so hiring a home inspector is the best way to protect yourself and find the perfect home for you and your family.
An Important Reminder
It's an inspector's job to uncover any and all items at the inspection, whether they are major or minor. They not only look for items that need immediate repair, but also point out any items that require ongoing or future maintenance. This allows you to properly prepare and save for future expenses. So while it may be daunting to see a long list of items needing repair after an inspection, this is a normal part of the home buying process. Any major repairs or safety concerns should be negotiated with the seller.
We're not your typical real estate agents.As former city dwellers, we appreciate the qualities that make city lifestyle so unique, from the convenience of walking to your favorite restaurant or corner store to the vast and diverse cultural and entertainment activities. But we’ve also experienced the challenges and frustrations that are motivating you to seek change. During our transition from the city to the suburbs, we had the same thoughts, concerns and questions, prompting us to create a better way to navigate the suburban home buying journey for others.