(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)
You are shopping for your dream home and you have heard talk and recommendations about getting a home inspection. When? Do you have your favorite choice inspected prior to making an offer? After? During? Where do you find an inspector who can help you within days? How do you get this scheduled with the property being occupied by the seller? Do you attend the inspection? Can you ask questions? Who pays for major repairs?
Don’t worry, the average home buyer only hires a home inspector 2 to 4 times in their entire life so there is no reason anyone would expect to be overly familiar with the service.
My company performs hundreds of home inspections every year. We are very familiar with all aspects of the process and have dealt with every conceivable variation.
While we have on occasion inspected a property for a buyer prior to a purchase agreement being in place, the overwhelming majority of inspections are performed for a buyer who has a signed and accepted purchase agreement in hand.
Always consult your licensed real estate professional for guidance and specific information. However, a typical purchase agreement will define an “inspection period” or “due diligence period” in which a buyer may hire a third party to conduct a non-invasive inspection of the property.
Generally, the purchase agreement is contingent upon the results of said inspection meaning if the inspections reveals defects, negotiations can be re-opened. This is also an excellent “why”. If we find major defects with the property, you have a chance to possibly negotiate for the repairs or a price adjustment.
How and Where
The best practice is to order your home inspection the same day you learn of your accepted offer. Many times, your inspection period is just 10 days—no need to let any of these go by for no reason. We can usually get you on our schedule within 72 hours, given approval by the seller.
We request permission to inspect the property from the seller, but sometimes the seller doesn’t approve our initial inspection appointment. Working out the scheduling, and adding in 48-hour radon test can eat up that 10-day period quickly. Time is of the essence!
We will meet you at your potentially new home and conduct a very thorough and in-depth inspection. We are working for you so you are welcome to ask any questions you have and follow our inspector around the property if you wish.
Another option that works well is to meet your inspector after he has had a chance to inspect the property. At this point, he can go over any defects with you, show you digital photos of any issues, and discuss recommended actions regarding these defects.
Priority and Consideration Items
We will point out any and all defects present at the time of the inspection, and we will classify these as “priority” items or “consideration” items. Priority items are defects that we believe warrants a discussion with your agent prior to following through with your purchase.
Your agent will guide you and help determine if any priority items warrant a request to the seller for repair or price consideration. An example of priority items includes things such as a non-operation furnace or air conditioner, a plumbing leak, or any hazardous situation.
Consideration items include minor defects and deferred maintenance items and generally do not affect the sale of the property. These are provided for your reference and include things like vegetation touching the siding, minor cracks in walkways, and peeling wood trim paint.
To summarize: Find your dream house, sign a purchase agreement, call Comfort Home Inspections, Inc., and you will have nothing to worry about!