In the current real estate market it is importantthat your buyer knows exactly what he or she isbuying. To help this process, your buyer needs ahome inspection. Here we discuss the homeinspection process and why it is important toyou that your buyer gets one. Homeinspections, as opposed to appraisals, arealmost never required by lenders.
The appraisal provides theunderwriter with sufficientinformation on the property to beable to make an informed decision.This information focuses on theoverall condition of the property, but will also noteobvious problems such as mold, missing paint andmissing stair rails. To really get into the nuts andbolts of the property, a home inspection is needed.Inspections cover all major systems of thehome, including plumbing, electrical, heating andair conditioning. A good one will take several hoursto complete.
Many buyers may hesitate to investin a home inspection because ofthe price, but at the same time, ahome inspection is there to protectthe interests of your buyer. A homeinspection might cost $300 ormore, depending on the size of theproperty, but this is insignificant compared to the price ofmajor unplanned repairs that arise long after closing andthat your buyer hadn’t anticipated. Most standard realestate contracts allow a certain number of days typicallyfive to complete a home inspection and raise items thatneed to be addressed.
Part of the job of the real estateattorney and, of course, your buyerhas one is to help the buyer raisewith the seller any problemsdiscovered in a home inspection. Aseller has the right to refuse to fix anything, but atthe same time your buyer has the right to walkaway from the property if no agreement is reachedwith regard to these problems. If the contract hasno provisions for a home inspection, and they areunwilling to put one in, the seller may be hidingsomething. Encourage your buyer to walk, or ratherrun, from the transaction, no matter how appealingthe property appears to be.
As a real estate professional, you likely have arelationship with a good home inspector; ifnot, there are several excellent sources forlocating one. There are organizations such as theAmerican Society of Home Inspectors with listsof members in good standing, and yourmortgage professionalsmay also be able to provideyou with references forinspectors that they haveused successfully in the past.
Depending on what part of the country you arein, the property may require a specialized homeinspector. There are different levels of certificationsthat an inspector may have, and specialties includemold, radon, termites, etc. If you are a listingagent, you and the seller may want to get a homeinspection before the property goes on the market.This identifies problems before they come up in afuture inspection. The bottom line is that everybuyer should have a home inspection, and everyreal estate agent should recommend it.