Buying a home is a complex process. There are so many to-dos and don’t-dos that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stuck somewhere along the process. Although all of the parts of buying a home are equally important, getting a home inspection is something many homeowners don’t understand the importance of, or how to use it. As a home warranty company, Landmark utilizes home inspections all the time – and that’s just one part of its usefulness. Here are the top six things you need to know about home inspections:
HOME INSPECTIONS AREN'T REQUIRED
First things first, home inspections aren’t required when purchasing a home. However, your home insurance company or financial institution may require an inspection. Even if you’re not required to get a home inspection, that doesn’t mean you don’t need one. A home inspection is solely for your benefit as the buyer.
WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION, ANYWAY?
When you enter into contract on a home (you make an offer, and the buyer accepts that offer), you hire a home inspector. The inspector will go through the house to make sure everything is in working order, and that you’re paying what the home is worth. The home inspector will provide a report that you and your real estate agent will go through together.
BUYERS PAY FOR THE INSPECTION
Once you enter into contract on a home, make sure you’re the one who hires the home inspector. If the seller hires the home inspector, there’s a conflict of interest. A home inspector won’t feel conflicted when telling the homebuyer any problems within the home, if the buyer is the one paying for the inspection.
Another benefit to hiring the inspector yourself is that you can vet different home inspectors and find someone who will make sure he or she finds any and all problems within the home. There are many tips to make sure you find the best inspector for the job. One is to make sure that you don’t hire an inspector who offers to complete the repairs on the problems that he or she finds within the house.
Although you’d like to trust the inspector’s opinion, you don’t want to end up paying more for “problems” that don’t exist. Make sure your inspector is qualified through actual experience and is a member of a professional organization so you know they adhere to specialized standards.
HIRE MULTIPLE INSPECTORS
If your home inspector informs you that something needs to be looked at more closely, don’t hesitate to hire multiple inspectors – including inspectors who are experts in the specific system that seems to be having a problem. One of the largest repairs that we see as a home warranty company is in the HVAC system. Make sure you have a qualified HVAC inspector go through your home to ensure that everything is in working order.
ATTEND THE INSPECTION
One of the best things you can do when getting your home inspected is to attend the inspection. You are planning on living in this home – don’t you want to walk through it with an expert and learn how it works? Plus, if there are major issues with the home, you’ll be able to ask questions.
USE THE INSPECTION TO NEGOTIATE
Once you receive the home inspector’s report, read through it and then use it. If there are problems that are outlined in the inspection you can use these to negotiate on price. Either the seller should repair or replace the problematic appliance or system, or they should reduce the price so you can repair or replace it yourself.
This next part is extremely important: Do not under any circumstance assume that your home insurance or home warranty will repair or replace the system or appliance. If the issue existed before you purchased your home, and it is noted in the home inspection, there is almost no chance that it will be repaired or replaced.
Imagine if you bought a car that had been totaled – after you buy it, you call up your insurance company to have them repair or replace your new totaled car. Would they replace it? Probably not. The same principle applies to your home insurance and home warranty companies.
GIVE INSPECTIONS TO YOUR HOME WARRANTY COMPANY
Finally, if you have a home warranty on your new home, make sure to give them the home inspection, as well as any subsequent work that was done on the home before purchasing it. This way, if something goes wrong with your systems and appliances, your home warranty company can know at what state your home was in when you purchased it. They will be more likely to repair and replace your systems and appliances for significantly reduced fees if you provide them all of the information they need to see the state of the home.
We are a full service real estate brokerage with over 100 agents to serve you. Let us be your real estate resource. Regardless whether you need to buy or sell now, or sometime in the future, let us help you. We are no pressure and will always try and help. Contact us at 561-701-8124 now.
"Thu, May 19, 2016
Joseph Schneider went above and beyond the capacity of a realtor. He facilitated in making the process of us purchasing our first home less stressful because of his knowledge and experience. Joseph made sure that every aspect of our transaction was handled in a professional and timely manner. Whatever we asked for in our search for the perfect home, he made sure that he did his due diligence. Joseph was referred to us and we would most definitely refer him to anyone who is looking to purchase or sell a home."