MARY ANN QUINN's Blog
Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).
In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether you’re buying or selling a home.
Home inspections for buyers
There’s a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much you’re willing to offer on a home, or if you’re willing to make an offer at all.
Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.
Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.
Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.
Home inspections for sellers
As we’ve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.
If you’re planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You don’t want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.
So, whether you’re a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home you’re planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if you’re a buyer. Or, if you’re a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.
After you accept an offer to purchase your house, a buyer and his or her real estate agent likely will want to conduct a property inspection. Although the mere thought of a home inspection may cause a property seller to stress, it is important to understand the importance of an inspection for both sellers and buyers.
Now, let's take a look at three things that every seller needs to know about home inspections.
1. A home inspection offers valuable insights for both a seller and buyer.
During a home inspection, a buyer, his or her real estate agent and a house inspector will examine a residence both inside and out. The inspection allows a buyer to take a close look at a residence and identify any underlying issues with a house before finalizing a home purchase.
Meanwhile, a seller may learn about assorted home problems following an inspection as well. And if a home has various problems, a seller may need to correct these issues to fulfill a buyer's requests.
2. A home inspection won't necessarily slow down or stop a house sale.
Typically, a home inspection is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase. At this point, a buyer wants to ensure a home matches or exceeds his or her expectations. With an inspection, a buyer can learn about all aspects of a residence and proceed accordingly.
If problems are discovered during a home inspection, there is no need for a seller to worry. Oftentimes, a buyer will request a seller fix any problems with a home, or he or she may ask for a price reduction. As a seller, you may be able to negotiate with a buyer to find common ground relative to the costs of myriad home repairs too.
3. A home inspection generally does not take long to complete.
In many instances, a home inspection takes just hours to complete, and a buyer will receive a house inspection report within a few days of the evaluation. After a buyer reviews the home inspection report results, he or she can choose to move forward with a home purchase. Or, a buyer can rescind his or her offer to purchase or request home repairs or a reduced purchase price.
A seller will find out how a buyer wants to proceed within days of a home inspection. If a buyer and seller can come to terms after an inspection, both parties can proceed with a home transaction. On the other hand, if a buyer and seller cannot reach an agreement following an inspection, both parties can reenter the housing market.
Lastly, when it comes to selling a home, it often helps to hire an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach a seller about home inspections, as well as what to expect at each stage of the property selling journey. That way, a seller can prepare for any potential home selling hurdles and take the necessary steps to overcome such problems before they get out of hand.
A home inspection report may prove to be a difference-maker for a property buyer, and for good reason. With an inspection report in hand, a property buyer will need to decide whether to proceed with a home purchase or rescind a homebuying proposal. Therefore, a property buyer must allocate time and resources to review a home inspection report so he or she can make an informed homebuying decision.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why a homebuyer should trust the final results of a property inspection report, and these reasons include:
1. A home inspection is conducted by a property expert.
A home inspection is conducted by a property expert who will perform a deep evaluation of a house. As such, a home inspector will provide a homebuyer with a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.
For homebuyers, it often is beneficial to search for a top-rated home inspector. This inspector likely will provide an in-depth report that outlines a house's strengths and weaknesses. A homebuyer then can use this report to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a house.
2. A home inspection is used to assess all aspects of a house.
A home inspection generally takes several hours to complete. During this evaluation, a home inspector will look at a home's foundation, heating and cooling systems and other aspects of a house. By doing so, a home inspector will be able to identify any underlying issues with a residence.
It usually is beneficial to ask questions during a home inspection as well. If you strive to learn from a home inspector, you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision about whether a house is right for you.
3. A home inspection offers insights that property buyers may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Although a homebuyer may visit a house more than once before submitting an offer to purchase, a home inspection represents a learning opportunity unlike any other. A house inspection enables a homebuyer to examine a residence both inside and out with a property expert. Then, this buyer will receive an extensive inspection report that he or she can review prior to finalizing a house purchase.
If you're preparing to search for a home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will be able to guide you along the homebuying journey. And once you reach the point where you need to conduct a house inspection, a real estate agent will help you find a top home inspector in your city or town.
Of course, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions too. As a result, a real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of buying a house.
Ready to find and purchase a home? Before you finalize a house purchase, perform a home inspection – you'll be glad you did. Because if you review a home inspection report, you can determine the best course of action relative to a home purchase.
For home sellers, accepting a homebuyer's offer represents one of many steps you'll need to complete to finalize your home sale. In fact, accepting a homebuyer's proposal provides no guarantees, and a homebuyer likely will conduct a home inspection that may determine whether he or she moves forward with a home purchase.
Ultimately, a home inspection may make or break your home sale. But if you spend some time preparing for a home inspection, you can improve your chances of accelerating the home selling process.
Here are three tips to help home sellers get ready for a home inspection.
1. Clean Up Your Home's Interior and Exterior
A home inspector will investigate every nook and cranny of your house. As such, you'll want to ensure your residence dazzles when a home inspector visits, as any flaw could damage your chances of finalizing your home sale.
Conduct an extensive clean-up of your house's interior and exterior – you'll be happy you did. With a neat, tidy home, you'll be able to improve your chances of making a positive impression on a home inspector.
Plus, evaluating your residence before a home inspection ensures you can identify and address any minor flaws before the evaluation. That way, you'll be able to eliminate any problems and improve your chances of a fast, seamless home inspection that won't jeopardize your home sale.
2. Ensure All Areas of Your Home Are Easily Accessible
A home inspector will want to examine your hot water heater, your home's siding and more, so you'll want to make every area of your home easily accessible to a home inspector to guarantee he or she can perform the assessment properly.
Although a home inspector may uncover a variety of problems with your residence, the assessment represents a valuable learning opportunity for both you and the homebuyer. Thus, if all areas of your home are easily accessible, you may be able to make the most of this opportunity, learn about hidden problems with your residence and work to resolve these issues accordingly.
3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – a home inspection can be stressful, particularly for home sellers who want to finalize a home sale as soon as possible. Luckily, your real estate agent can help you minimize stress and ensure you know exactly what to expect before, during and after a home inspection.
Your real estate agent can answer any of your home inspection questions and ensure you are fully prepared for the assessment. In addition, your real estate agent will collaborate with you and the homebuyer. And if problems are discovered during a home inspection, your real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.
When it comes to a home inspection, there is no need to worry. If you use the aforementioned tips to prepare for a home inspection, you'll be able to improve your chances of speeding up the home selling process.
Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that aren’t obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, it’s especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.
Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didn’t entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.
The small fixes
Let’s start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the home’s faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.
Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.
Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.
Sewer line and septic systems
Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if they’ve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.
When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.
Inspect the pipes
Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.
Hot water heater
Just like the septic system, you’ll want to ask about the history of the home’s hot water heater. If it’s over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.
You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. You’ll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.