Buying a home involves a lot of moving pieces to complete the puzzle when you get to the closing table. You’ve got to get financing, find a house, put in an offer, and go through the negotiation process. Negotiating to buy a home you’ve fallen in love with often involves the price you’ll pay, but there’s more to it than that.
A home inspection is a vital part of the buying process. Getting one is recommended for every buyer, even when the home is being offered as-is. Why? Because with such a large financial investment, you need to know what you’re buying and what you can expect once the sale closes before you sign on the dotted line.
Here are some things you should know about a home inspection.
Home Inspections Find Out What’s Wrong
A home inspector will go through every square inch of a home that they can access. This includes crawlspaces, garages, under the sinks, and in every room. Your inspector will run the dishwasher, turn on the HVAC system, check the refrigerator, look at your electrical system, check the water heater, and touch or turn on every part of the house. In the end, they’ll generate a report with pictures to tell you where potential problems lie and what seems to be working well.
Home Inspection Findings are Used in Negotiations
If a home has been well-maintained or is newer, it’s unlikely the home inspector will find any major damage or problems. But this isn’t a guarantee. Their report can tell you the roof will need replacing in a year or two, that the HVAC is on it’s last legs, or that you’ll need to replace your appliances soon. All of this information allows you and your agent to go back to the sellers to negotiate a better price, repairs before you close, or money back at closing.
You Might Walk Away After the Home Inspection
Any good offer will include language that says the contract is contingent on the home inspection, among other factors. This means that if major problems are found - like mold or faulty wiring - you can walk away from the deal and look for something better. Small problems can usually be negotiated between you and the seller. Big problems may need to be another buyer’s problem while you find something closer to move-in ready.
Everyone Should Have a Home Inspection
No matter what kind of home you’re buying or how you’re paying for it, a home inspection is something every buyer needs. Maybe you can’t renegotiate the price because it’s a foreclosure property but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be well-informed before you get to the closing table. Even investors who plan to flip a home should know what’s wrong with it so they have fewer surprises in the renovation process.
You Have a Variety of Home Inspections to Consider
Here in the Naples area, several types of home inspections are common. The one most buyers will be familiar with is the pre-purchase inspection - the one that tells you what’s wrong before you get to the closing table. There are other types that can and should be performed:
- Radon Inspection
- Air Quality/Mold
- Well and Septic - for properties that have this system, mostly in rural areas
Think of a home inspection as a little added security and peace of mind before you buy a home. A home inspections can’t always predict when an appliance will break down, but it can tell you how old that appliance is so you know what you’re getting. Home inspections are vital pieces of information to help you make the best and most informed decision possible before spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When your Realtor mentions the home inspection, don’t reject the offer. Consider it part of your decision-making process.
Ready to look for the home of your dreams? Want to work with someone who will give you the tools necessary to help you decide what will work best for you? Let’s talk.