What to Know Before Your Home Inspection: Buyers

 

If you are here, you are probably jumping up in excitement because your offer just got accepted! Congrats! Now, you are now transitioning into a new phase in your home-buying journey. This is where the “contingencies” are taken care of. That is if you and your agent agreed to write those contingencies in the offer. I’d like to share with you what to expect when your home inspection takes place.

The first item you take care of after your offer is accepted is the home inspection. Your agent will order this as soon as possible. This is to ensure there is enough time if there need to be any remedies and if so to come to a formal agreement. You will pick which home inspectors to go with & plan to pay the cost which can range from $400-$600. If you are financing through a VA loan, you do not pay for the pest inspection part. On newer constructed homes, it is not too necessary to conduct a home inspection. Your concern at this moment would be to be aware of any issues that weren’t apparent when you viewed the home in prior showings. The inspector will take a look at the mechanical systems, termite, radon, water and septic systems, structural systems, and required repairs.

A magnifying glass hovering over the words Inspection, centering on a house with the word Home inside it

You might also be wondering, “What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? That is a good question. An appraisal is ordered because it is required by the lender. A qualified appraiser determines the value of the home by researching comparisons and the condition of the home. They also need to make sure the home is meeting FHA minimum property standards. Finally, they need to evaluate if the home is compatible with the market, making it “marketable”. Not only do the appraisers determine the value based on the actual home, but they also take into consideration the amenities nearby like street access, for example. As mentioned before, a home inspection is ordered so that a qualified home inspector takes a thorough look at the home to evaluate the physical condition, identify any issues that require attention, and estimate the life of certain appliances.

It is your right to be well informed of your potential new purchase. This includes the findings in the home inspection. As long as it was written in your offer, you have the right to examine the home and arrange an agreement between you and the seller to repair/replace items that were determined to be a health or safety issue. This is to be done by a specified timeline per your contract.

estate agent close a contract

You and your agent will discuss what time & date works best for you that way you can be present. It is not required for you to be there because you will receive a copy of the inspection report regardless. However, you must attend that way you can ask the inspector any questions you may have while they are conducting the inspection. The sellers will most likely not be there, if they are you will also be notified.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, here is a full list of what the qualified inspector will take a look at:

  • Home’s heating system
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Roof
  • Attic and visible insulation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Structural Components

Upon your request, they will test for pest and radon gas testing.

Family meeting real-estate agent for home purchase

Based on the findings, you and your agent will determine what is required to be done to meet the deadline and be on your way to close. Your agent will then make those requests. Keep in mind, that you would not ask for anything that is a “cosmetic issue”. Your experienced agent will advise you on what not to ask the sellers for a remedy. If there is any chipped paint, minor screen tear, tiny cracks in the driveway, etc. these are just a few examples of what wouldn’t make the sellers too happy.

Couple meeting consultant for financial contract

You will be able to come to a formal agreement on what should occur for you to move forward with the purchase. Remember, both parties have to do their due diligence to treat this negotiation seriously and take the sale to the closing table. Per the contract, you will be able to make a final inspection of the property. This is also referred to as the final walk-through, which usually takes place close to closing day. The real estate agent representing you & the buyers will verify that all the necessary repairs were completed, the property is still in good condition like when you first saw it, all fixtures are still there, and no alterations or removals that weren’t authorized have occurred. Essentially, just making sure the home looks like how everyone still imagined it. Exactly how it was when you decided to make an offer & now including the repairs that were needed.

I wanted to share some helpful insight into what goes on in the inspection contingency phase. Hopefully, you can walk away with some new information that can help guide you at your next home inspection. I would love to be the professional real estate agent walking you through this. Best of luck!

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What to Know Before Your Home Inspection: Sellers

Hands holding tablet and checking off items on a checlist vector illustration

The good news, your home has an accepted offer and is now in the contingency phase. You’re checking off the list of what needs to be completed before the sale of your home is finalized. There are just a few items that are causing some anxiety. The first one to overcome is the home inspection! Even if your home is in fantastic shape and you’re sure that the inspector won’t find anything major, you still find yourself a bit nervous. I want to share some possible issues that could come up to help you feel a little more prepared.

Home Inspection - Magnifying Glass

Right after you have accepted the buyer’s offer, their agent will schedule the home inspection right away. This is if it was written in the contract and stated as a contingency for the buyers. As the seller, you already disclosed to the best of your knowledge the facts of your home in writing in the Seller’s Property Disclosure. Now, the buyers want to double-check everything looks good before they move forward with the purchase. If something does come up that the buyer addresses as an issue, there’s a chance for you and the buyer to agree on how to handle that. Whether it is crediting for repairs or formally agreeing to replace/repair the particular item(s) before closing. If there is something serious revealed in the home inspection, the buyers also can back out of the deal.

As the seller, you will want to know the key items that the home inspector will look at during the home inspection. Starting with the foundation, and structural components, if the weather allows they will also take a look at the roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. This thorough look at the home usually takes around two to three hours, depending on the size of the home. You’ll have to plan to be out of the house for a bit while this is being conducted.

Just like you will be notified about the time and date of when this will take place, so will the buyers and their real estate agent! The buyers and the buyer’s agent will also attend the inspection so that they can go over it in detail with the home inspector about the findings. It is not required for them to be there, but important they do attend.

Plumber With Clipboard Looking At Electric Boiler

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, here is a full list of what the home inspection will include:

  • Home’s heating system
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Roof
  • Attic and visible insulation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Structural Components

Now that we know what they’re going to be looking at, let’s go over some tips before the home inspection takes place!

cleaning

By now, you’re probably already an expert at tidying up the place due to showings & listing pictures. Well, now you get to show off your skills one more time. For the home inspection, it’s essential to make sure there aren’t any objects obstructing an entry/exit. You want to make sure the home inspector can get to every area in the home to ensure everything goes well in the final report. If they have to write a “defect” in the final report because they weren’t able to get to an essential item, that wouldn’t look too good to the buyers. Dusting & vacuuming also would be great.

Show some TLC to your gutters and roof. This will for sure be inspected so it’s important to clean those out. Debris is easy to spot, make sure to clean that out so it looks all nice and pretty to the home inspector! Showing TLC to the roof won’t require too much work. If the weather is nice, just use some tools to clean it off like a leaf blower. If you decided to tackle some repairs and you’re not too experienced in roofing, that could be very noticeable to the inspector and could risk it being labeled as a defect in the report.

The purpose of this professional home inspection is to find any issues that could be safety hazards and such. Therefore, some items don’t seem like a big deal to some. For instance, checking to make sure the light bulbs work, unlocking all doors, emptying the washer & dryer, smoke detectors, and other appliances. Keep these in mind to ensure the inspection runs as smoothly as possible. The light bulbs need to be working to prove there aren’t any serious wiring issues going on in the house. Unlocking all the doors helps everyone out by letting the inspector conduct his job & inspecting all areas of the house. This can also include the garage shed & attic! They will also inspect the appliances to make sure they are in working condition, so remember to empty those!

Finally, it’s strongly recommended you plan to not be present in the home inspection while it is being conducted in your home. Sometimes home inspectors will arrive earlier to prepare. If your pets aren’t big fans of people wandering around the home and tend to bark or growl, it’d be a good idea to keep them in their kennel or you could even take them with you.

Specific unknown

As long as you have disclosed everything that has taken place in your home and you can provide proof of maintenance, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. Most homes in the area were impacted by the Derecho storm. Therefore, most homeowners have insurance claims for repairs that require attention. That would be something you’d want to disclose and maintain documentation of.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful and learned something new about what takes place at the home inspection. I hope there was something in here that you can find useful for your next home inspection. When in doubt, disclose, disclose, disclose!

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Prepping Your Home For Sale!

When you’re ready to sell your home, doing a little preparation beforehand can potentially help sell quicker and for a higher price. 

Maximize Curb Appeal
Getting them through the front door starts at the curb. Manicure the lawn, trim the trees and shrubs. Pull weeds and plant some colorful flowers. Clear the walkways. Fix peeling paint and wind up that hose. Paint the address number on the curb.

Make Repairs to Visible Blemishes
Is there something that’s an eyesore, but an easy fix? If looking at it bothers you, it could bother a potential buyer and reduce the appeal of your home. Replace burnt-out light bulbs, fix that loose door handle, make needed paint touch-ups.

Make a Buyer’s Entrance Inviting
Freshly paint the front door with a color that contrasts the house. Add a new welcome mat. Hang a fresh wreath on the door.

Let the Light Shine In
Removing heavy window coverings to let in the natural light we all crave. Add lamps to brighten up darker areas to add more cheer.

Remove the Clutter
This serves two purposes. First, you want your home to have an open and inviting appearance. Removing clutter will make rooms appear larger and more appealing. Second, it helps YOU prepare to move. Going through the clutter and getting rid of what you don’t need will make your move much easier.

Remove Personal Items
It will be much easier for potential buyers to imagine your home as theirs when they can envision their own items in it.

Highlight Special Features
Use accents and color to draw eyes to special features that you want potential buyers to notice—throw pillows, plants, or other eye-catching accessories.

Add Mirrors
Use mirrors to make rooms look larger and lighter. Position opposite windows for best effect.

Clean Out Cabinets and Closets
Buyers are nosy and they WILL open the cabinets. Make sure your contents are orderly and organized.

Eliminate Odors
Clean to remove any odors and do not cook any meals with heavy, lasting smells before a showing.

Add Aromas
You can easily add appeal by quartering an orange and adding it to a pot of water with a cinnamon stick. Simmer on low for an inviting aroma. Or bake a fresh batch of cookies (and leave a plate of them on the counter for visitors).

 

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Seller’s Questionnaire

If you’re looking for your sign to list your home, here it is! Take advantage of this market and get your money’s worth. This is a good time to take your home to the market and find out what others would pay for your home. We are experiencing lower inventory, confide in a trustworthy Realtor to guide you in this market.

over asking

Please fill out this short questionnaire where I can get some information from you and we can stay in touch. It is completely free so just fill it out to your best ability! Let’s find out what your home is really worth. Thanks in advance.

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Welcome, Sellers!

Hello! Thanks for visiting this page of my site where I will show you some helpful tips to guide you in the journey of selling your property. I would be honored to be your guide, so if you are thinking about selling your property soon, feel free to contact me and I would love to chat!

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.
Author: Feverpitch

In today’s market, it is definitely being driven by sellers. Which is great if you’re looking to do that because you have less competition. Feel free to explore the rest of my site where I share more information starting with pricing your home right, prepping your home to be listed & for showings,  & other helpful tips. It is a good time to sell right now! Take advantage of the opportunity and Happy Selling!

 

 

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