You found the home that’s right for you. Even better, your offer was accepted, and you are getting closer to moving in. Not so fast! The home inspection is the next big step in the process, and it should never be overlooked. Home inspections may seem daunting at first, especially to a first-time homebuyer. Go into this process more informed by reviewing our four tips that every buyer should know about home inspections.
Buyers Are Responsible for Home Inspections
Many first-time homebuyers do not realize that they are responsible for the home inspection. This includes hiring the home inspector, scheduling the inspection, and shouldering the cost. Keep in mind that home inspectors and contractors are not the same thing. Home inspectors are specifically trained to identify problems, and they require certification. Not sure who to hire? Your realtor may have some great recommendations, but it never hurts to do some research online to find inspectors and check their reviews and credentials.
What Do Home Inspections Cover?
A home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection. The home inspection should include the home’s exterior, steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows, and doors. Inside, they will look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement, foundation, and garages. Some areas that may not be covered in a home inspection and may require another professional opinion are septic tanks, wells, sheds, or additional structures outside the house.
You Can Attend Inspections
Many home inspectors recommend that buyers attend the home inspection. This is a wonderful opportunity for the inspector to thoroughly answer any questions that the homebuyer has, and they can even provide instructions on how to maintain the home after ownership is transferred. After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with an official report which details their findings in writing along with pictures.
Repairs after Inspections Are Negotiable
It is important to carefully read through your report before negotiating repairs. Prioritize the items that require the most attention by the seller and negotiate the repairs. Buyers and sellers may be tempted to do repairs themselves or request a friend for help. Cutting corners to reduce the cost of a repair(s) is never a wise strategy, so hire professionals and keep records of their repair estimates and invoices.
There are many aspects to getting a home inspection, but letting a professional handle the process will give you a lot of peace of mind in your homebuying transaction. Having knowledge about the inspection process is the first step!