Are you planning to buy a home?
A home inspection concerns buyers and sellers alike. While you may assume that you have the upper hand as a buyer, the inspections are actually in the interests of all sides in the transaction.
Sellers can ensure that their home commands the full price when the inspection proves there aren’t any hidden issues. For buyers, the inspection has the power to uncover problem areas that could help negotiate a lower price.
Omni Key Realty, a local property management company, takes a closer look at top tips for home buyers. Use these suggestions to maximize the potential that inspections by a qualified inspector could have.
#1: Turn up for the inspection
You shouldn’t miss the inspection day. Of course, it’s important to allow the home inspector to focus and properly conduct the inspection. But attending the actual inspection is important for buyers.
You can listen to the inspector’s comments and ask for further details and practical advice. This on-the-go exchange of information in your prospective home is highly valuable. It’s much more informative and educating than receiving an inspector’s report later that day.
Keep in mind that showing up for the inspection allows you to see and understand the home’s structure. Testing different components of the home and seeing the crawl space or basement lets you get more comfortable with your potential future home.
#2: Include home inspection as a contract contingency
Adding a home inspection as a contract contingency protects your interests as a buyer. The contingency clause shows under what condition the purchase agreement becomes legally binding.
This type of contingency enables you to inspect the property after signing the purchase offer. In most cases, the timeline for conducting this inspection is around 1-2 weeks.
When the inspection uncovers any issues, you can start negotiating over repair solutions. Should these negotiations fail to reach an agreement, you could just withdraw from the deal.
#3: Set realistic expectations
Many buyers hold exceedingly high expectations for the inspection results. They feel that the report should be faultless or very close to perfection. But the truth is that most inspections result in at least a few items on the final report.
Every home may have a few things that a home inspector would point out in need of modifying or updating. This doesn’t mean that these inspection notes show the property is unfit for living.
Here is a practical example. You read from the inspector’s report that the gutters demonstrate a drain issue. Usually, any drain problems call for simple cleaning of the gutters and downspouts. It’s not an adequate reason for turning down a nice home.
Instead of trivial issues, your main concern should be extensive problems with any essential systems: the HVAC, electrical systems, and plumbing. In addition, great care should be taken with structural problems, such as a failing foundation.
#4: Know when to negotiate and when to move on
The common dilemma for buyers is deciding between negotiating or walking away after the inspection shows serious problems. Sometimes, you may really have fallen in love with the home even though it has deeper flaws.
Here are some negotiation tips:
- Ask for a lower selling price. Not all problems call for a quick repair. When you have more time for fixing the issues, you could just ask for a discount on the closing price.
- Negotiate for fixes. You can request the seller to conduct repairs based on the inspector’s report. It’s recommended to ask for repairs in case of more serious problems with the property.
- Ask for cash-back credit. This means that the seller will give you enough money so that you can complete the repairs by yourself. The difference between a discount and cash-back credit is in the final implications on your home loan.
In a nutshell: Home Inspection Tips for Buyers
Home inspections aren’t only a concern of sellers. As a buyer, you should make sure that you know the importance of these inspections and how to adequately assess the results.
Follow these tips to get the most out of home inspection procedures as a buyer:
- You should always set realistic expectations for the inspection results. Virtually no home on the market will guarantee a report free of any notes and recommendations.
- Accompany the home inspector through all the various procedures. You’ll gain a better understanding of your prospective home while having the chance to ask for plenty of questions.
- Weigh the pros and cons of negotiating versus walking away. During the negotiations, you can ask for cash-back credit, a lower selling price, or repairs on the part of the seller.
Add home inspection as a contract contingency. By including this clause, you can protect your interests as a home buyer