WHAT TO EXPECT WITH YOUR HOME INSPECTION
A proper home inspection is the best way to purchase a property that’s not a home improvement nightmare. Before you purchase a home, hire an inspector to make sure the structure is sound and there aren’t any major defects.
An inspection helps buyers identify serious issues with a house, condo, townhouse or other type of home. Some lenders require home inspections before they’ll approve closing on a mortgage loan. ERA Justin Realty Sales Associate, Jennifer Sullivan, offers a few tips on preparing for a home inspection:
Get Multiple Recommendations
Make sure you get a few recommendations of qualified inspectors from your real estate agent, attorney, friends, family, neighbors or the American Society of Home Inspectors. Interview the inspector to find out how they work, what their training is, if they are licensed and insured and how they communicate with their customers.
Attend the Inspection
After the inspection is complete, buyers will get a report from the inspector. Many people don’t realize they can be at the inspection or think they will “leave it up to the professional” to make recommendations. Make sure you are present for the home inspection and be prepared to ask questions and point out specific problems you’d like to check out further. Although he is the expert, this will be the first time your home inspector has been at the property, so any knowledge of potential issues you have will be invaluable to point out.
The reason you hired a home inspector is because this person has the necessary knowledge to evaluate whether or not this property has any issues that would make purchasing the property a bad decision. If you don’t understand what the inspector just told you, ask for clarification. A good inspector will answer all of your questions and should explain what s/he is doing as they are walking through the property. It’s better to ask a question now than have an issue arise after you’ve purchased the property.
Don’t Focus on Small Issues
Whether the home is new construction or 70 years old, there is a strong likelihood that the inspector will find items to list on their report. Each home will have things that an inspector feels could be updated or modified, but that does not mean it is a pending problem or you should kill the deal. The main point of the report is to learn if the home has any major structural problems or if any of the major systems are in need of extensive repair (think plumbing, electrical or HVAC). It is not a wise idea to ask a seller to replace every burned-out light bulb or cracked electrical outlet cover, remove all the wallpaper or credit you for these items.
Determine which battles are worth fighting and which items can be handled at a later date and take your concerns to your real estate agent for negotiation. Sullivan states, “Making unnecessary home inspection repair requests can lead the seller to look at other offers that may be on the table”.
Jennifer Sullivan is a Realtor Sales Associate at ERA Justin Realty. Jennifer or any of our full time agents can be reached at 201.939.7500 to discuss any of your real estate needs.