Every home Buyer should have a home inspection done, not just first-time home buyers. Even new homes may have significant defects that an untrained person will not pick up which could significantly impair the value of the home.
While the home inspection will not take place until after attorney review is concluded, it is a good idea to line up a home inspector ahead of time. Home inspectors get busy too, and you will want to find the right one for your home inspection.
Most Realtors work with home inspectors on a regular basis and can refer you to a good inspector. Referrals from friends are another good source, as is Angie’s List. Keep in mind, only a licensed Home Inspector may conduct the inspection. A friend, contractor or tradesman (e.g. electrician) is not licensed to do home inspections.
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive review of the condition of the home. Common issues raised during home inspections include: roofing, heating/cooling systems, plumbing, electrical, mold, asbestos and other health concerns. The inspection can last anywhere from one to four hours, and it is a good idea for the Buyer to be present if possible.
A home inspection can also include other associated inspections, including but not limited to:
- Radon Gas test
- Mold/Air quality test
- Underground Tank Scan
- Oil Tank Integrity Test
These tests are generally not included in the home inspection, but can be added for an additional fee.
After the inspection, usually within a day or two, the inspector will provided a written report with an executive summary which points out the high-concern items. Keep in mind, the home inspection is not an exhaustive search, and the home inspector does not warranty that all defects will be discovered. The report will be circulated to all parties, and after conferring with his clients, the Buyer’s attorney will send a letter to the seller’s attorney requesting that some items be remedied. The requested remedy can be in the form of a repair or a credit on the sales price. This is a negotiation, and is usually in the buyer’s favor as it is revealing previously unknown defects.
If the parties cannot agree on the remedies to the inspection issues, they may terminate the sale and the Buyer can have his deposit monies refunded. In most cases, a reasonable solution can be reached. If the parties can agree on a solution, the Buyer would next need to order his appraisal.