An inspection is a third party professional opinion of the mechanical, electrical and physical components of a home. The inspection will include a licensed inspector looking at electrical outlets, dishwashers, plumbing and more. This occurs after a home purchase price has been agreed upon. This article will highlight why the inspection is done and what the goal of doing one is.
The first thing to do is to find an inspector. A simple google search will show many local inspectors with plenty of information about their service. For buyers, I recommend using an inspector who is from your area since home construction can vary from location to location. If you’re uncertain of which inspector to choose, ask your REALTOR, who can give you some great professional inspectors they have worked with in the past. Your real estate agent will be running the entire closing process so an inspector he or she has worked with in the past can be useful.
Why do we do the inspection? The simple answer is safety, but there are other reasons as well. Sometimes, renovations or repairs are done incorrectly and the home can be left with some unsafe conditions. We get the inspection done in order to make sure that when the buyer moves in they are not in danger. For instance, some outlets in older properties haven’t been updated to the appropriate outlets for current safety standards so those will need to be changed. The other reason to get an inspection done is to protect a buyer’s investment. A window that doesn’t seal properly isn’t necessarily unsafe but it will cause cold air to come in during the winter and increase the gas bill. That window should be sealed properly so the gas bill isn’t extremely high. The buyer wasn’t the one who wore the seals down in the first place so why should they have to pay for the repair?
After the inspection, a report is generated and the buyer and seller will enter into a negotiation about what will be fixed and what won’t be fixed. This is a negotiation so neither party will get everything they want but it is vitally important that any safety concerns are remedied before the buyer moves forward in the process. At this point an inspection fix request will be written up asking the seller to fix all of the issues in the home. There are three outcomes that come from an inspection fix request:
Acceptance of the request - The seller agrees to have a contractor come in and fix the issue.
Credit of the request - At closing the buyer will receive a closing credit for all, or a portion of the cost of the fix.
Rejection of the request - The seller refuses to fix the problem or pay to fix the problem.
Once every item on the list has been accepted, credited or rejected the process can move forward. If at some point the buyer and the seller cannot come to an agreement about how to handle any item on the inspection, the buyer has the ability to get out of the contract using the home inspection contingency and receive all of their earnest money back.
So there you have it. The inspection is a huge part of any home sale and knowing what you’re getting into is half the battle!