Home inspections are a critical step in the buying process. They reveal hidden problems that can affect the home’s value and safety.
It’s not unusual for a home inspection to result in back-and-forth negotiations between buyer and seller over repair requests or price reductions. In some cases, these issues can even derail a sale.
Knowing that a house you’re considering buying may have significant issues can help you decide whether it’s worth the price. If you discover a serious problem like faulty wiring or a leaky roof, you can use it to lower the home’s price or ask for repairs from the seller.
However, it’s important to note that a home inspection is not a complete list of everything a house has in its condition. For example, a home inspector can’t inspect a well or septic system because they aren’t easily accessible without risking damage.
That’s why it’s a good idea for buyers to get their professional assessment done by a carpenter or plumber after the inspection. This way, you can be sure that any problems found are fixable and won’t cost you an arm and a leg in the long run. Besides, it’s just smart to know what you’re getting into.
Home inspectors do not provide repair estimates, but they can advise where to find them. Local handypersons and contractors can usually be contacted for general pricing, and services can help to pinpoint exact costs for more involved repairs.
Whether or not the buyers have a contingency in place, they will want to know what they are up against before they agree to buy a home. Having a clear picture of what needs to be fixed can make the buying process much smoother.
Most real estate agents will recommend that their clients be strategic about what they ask for regarding repair requests. They should only focus on the most critical issues and not present the seller with a list that includes nicks in the windows and other less significant problems—trying to get the seller to fix everything in the house before the sale will likely backfire. It can also cause delays and possibly cause the sale to fall through.
Negotiating the Price
Having a home and real estate inspection performed before finalizing a sale can give buyers more leverage when negotiating with sellers. Buyers may ask for a credit towards the price of the house, request that the seller perform certain repairs before closing, or even cancel the purchase altogether if the problems found are too significant.
Performing a home inspection can also help to prevent future issues that would be costly and hazardous for occupants. For instance, a leaking roof, electrical wiring that isn’t up to code, or a faulty foundation can be expensive to repair and could put occupants’ safety at risk.
Prospective homebuyers should add a clause for a home inspection in their purchase agreements. This contingency gives buyers the right to withdraw from their contract without penalty if the home inspection reveals serious issues.
Peace of Mind
Home inspections give buyers peace of mind. No one wants to discover a leaking roof, faulty plumbing, or crumbling foundation after moving in. A home inspector identifies problems before they become major issues and allows buyers to negotiate repair costs or leave the sale altogether.
Home sellers also benefit from home inspections. If the inspector finds problems, they can address them before listing the property to avoid surprises for potential buyers. This can improve a seller’s chances of getting a higher price for their home.
Whether buying or selling, purchasing a home is exciting, stressful, and complicated. A home inspection can save both sides money and headaches by identifying hidden problems, providing a negotiation tool for repairs or price adjustments, and offering peace of mind. Investing in a home inspection is a small price for a significant return on your investment.