Updated: Mar 4
Purchasing a home can involve a lot of steps. It usually begins with a property showing with the help of an agent or an open house once you’ve been pre-approved. Next, the buyer needs to decide about what features are necessary for the new home, versus what is unnecessary to have.
Then, the buyer needs to make their offer and possibly engage in negotiation either directly with the seller or the seller’s agent explains Own It Detroit.
Eventually, the time for inspection will come. This usually occurs shortly after the seller has accepted the offer from the buyer. That said, most buyers blow by the inspection and fail to make the most of it.
This can turn out to be a costly mistake down the line. Home inspections exist for a reason. Here are a few home inspection tips:
It’ll enable you to feel confident about your purchase. Your interest should be your top priority. Having the home inspected will give you a sense of certainty for the purchase and eliminate any remorse.
It’ll help you plan ahead. The inspection report will enable you to determine when to repair and replace items.
It may enable you to negotiate the cost of the home. You’ll have the option to negotiate for a lower sale price if a major problem is found.
Home inspections can give you warning signs. A reliable inspector will help you spot any major defects, safety concerns, and potential threats on the property.
With that in mind, here are 4 home inspection tips for buyers.
Tip #1: Hire an expert.
Hiring an unqualified home inspector can be disastrous for you as the buyer. When hiring one, you want a professional who’ll do the job right. The right inspector will serve to mitigate the risk of hidden costs and provide you with peace of mind.
If you don’t have a home inspector in mind, there are certain things that you’ll need to pay attention to.
First, check their credentials. Ask them about their experience and level of training, as it relates to the home in question. Their responses should highlight their qualifications and credentials. Many should, for example, have had some training in areas like construction and building maintenance standards.
But most importantly, though, find out whether the inspector has the qualifications to inspect a home. Ensure they prioritize your interests.
Tip #2: Don’t waive your right to inspection.
Some buyers are too trusting. They will walk through the home, obtain some information from a real estate agent and decide the home is good enough. Waiving your right to an inspection is the worst thing any buyer can do.
Unbeknown to such buyers, there are many problems that a home may have that may not be visible at the moment. Foundation damage is a prime example. Some problems with a home’s foundation aren’t obvious.
For example, you may not realize that small ½” dip in one area of your home. Over time, however, it’s entirely possible for the home’s foundation to settle 2- 4″ into the earth. What’s more, when foundation settling occurs, a myriad of safety issues begins to develop as well.
Repairing the foundation at that stage could also cost you a fortune.
Tip #3: Don’t miss the inspection.
It makes perfect sense not to interfere with your inspector’s job. That said, interfering is one thing and missing the inspection is another. So, on the day of the inspection, make sure you are present to watch the inspection.
You’ll be able to watch and hear what the inspector has to say about the home. You will also get the opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have.
In addition, being present gives you an opportunity to learn a thing or two about the structure and features of the home. Going through the crawl space or basement, climbing into the attic and testing all the different elements of the house will give you a better understanding of the home’s condition.
Tip #4: Don’t focus on trivial things.
The purpose of a home inspection is to identify major structural problems a home may have. Or, if any of the main systems require extensive repairs (think HVAC, electrical or plumbing systems).
It isn’t wise to request the seller to steam clean a brand-new carpet, replace a cracked electrical outlet cover or every burned-out light bulb.
Basically, determine which battle is worth fighting over and which issues can be taken care of later. Asking the seller to make unnecessary repairs may make them look at more reasonable offers that they may still have on the table.
Buying a home can be a terrific investment, especially if you do your due diligence right. And one way of doing due diligence is by getting the home inspected. A good inspector will provide you a comprehensive and detailed analysis that you can use to make the right decision.