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A Buyer’s Guide to the Home Inspection

Inspection day is one of the most important steps when you are preparing to buy a home. You need to be sure that the property isn’t a money pit! An inspector checks all important details of the structure, to identify any potential issues that could cost you a lot of money in the future. A home inspection means that you know what you are getting yourself into because you have as much information as possible about the condition of the home.

Not only can an inspection be helpful in finding the points of negotiation in the deal, but you can also learn more about essential maintenance and care tips that will optimize the performance of the property in the future. During this inspection, an expert completes a visual check to measure potential safety, health, or mechanical concerns on the property.

As you are preparing to buy a home, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the success of your home inspection:

Choose a Reputable Inspector

The quality of your inspector can influence the overall outcome. You need someone who is thorough in their approach and offers a completely honest review of the benefits and drawbacks of the property.

You can search online to find an inspector, but many people choose to get personal recommendations from their real estate agent. Your agent is dialed into the local industry and knows the best providers that can support your goals with buying a home.

What to Do on Inspection Day

Often, the homebuyer and their real estate agent choose to be present on the day of the inspection. It’s also common for the seller’s agent to be present as well, helping to answer any questions or concerns that arise during the inspection.

The inspection can take a few hours, depending on the size of the home. Make sure you keep your schedule open so you don’t feel rushed. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk to the inspector about the inspection checklist they are following. Every detail of the home should be evaluated, including:

  • Foundation

  • Roof

  • Electrical

  • Plumbing

  • Appliances

  • Pest issues

  • Odors

  • Basement

  • Attic

  • Water issues

  • Structural concerns

  • HVAC performance

Since the inspector is focused on the health and safety of the property, they aren’t worried about cosmetic concerns. For example, a large stain on the wall could be signs of water damage, so it will be listed in the report. But old, dirty carpet is only a cosmetic concern, so an inspector won’t include the carpet concerns in the report.

Even though the inspection can be completed in a few hours, you won’t have immediate access to the full report. It can take a few days for the inspector to summarize the information in the report before the final details are shared.

After the Inspection

It’s common for an inspector to find issues with the property, but that doesn’t mean you need to start searching for another house. These issues can be used as negotiation in the deal, helping you find a win-win solution for both parties.

Usually, the homebuyers complete this inspection after their offer is accepted, but before the sale is closed. The findings from the inspection can be valuable in giving insight into the true value of the property. If you find any issues, then talk to your real estate agent about re-negotiating the offer. Sometimes, this negotiation involves repairs done by the seller. Or, you might discuss reducing the price of the home so you have more cash to complete the necessary repairs.

The inspection is an important step to ensure the quality of your real estate investment. A good real estate agent always encourages buyers to complete this inspection, helping to ensure the overall outcome of the deal.

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