Real Estate Ins & Outs January 29, 2020

Home Inspections and Then Some

All buyers expect a professional home inspector to provide an in-depth report of the property’s structures and systems. Certainly, it is a worthwhile investment that can either warn buyers away from a bad purchase, or provide buyers with the knowledge of deficiencies they can use to further negotiate with the sellers. 

The inspector’s report will also list minor repairs that, when made, will help to maintain a property over the long term.  Inspectors sometimes make a prediction about the standard life expectancy of the roof, HVAC, and other  systems expensive to replace. That means buyers can plan for their eventual replacement.

However, some mistakes could be made during the inspection process that cost buyers time and money. Avoid common buyer oversights to have confidence in any home purchase

Make Your Own Inspection

Always make a visual assessment of the property before submitting an offer, so that expected expenses can be considered in the offer price.

Turn on a bathroom sink or tub, then flush the toilet. Is there a drop in water pressure or a strange sound coming from the pipes? Running the water in sinks and tubs for might indicate drainage issues. Always look underneath sinks to spot signs of leaks.

Suspicious cracks in walls and ceilings could indicate foundation issues. Look for yellow spots on walls which might be from water damage. Black spots are usually mold. In a basement, powdery white deposits along the walls and slab are caused by water seepage.

Feel around windows and doors for significant drafts. They may need replacing. Look at the roof. Are the shingles in good shape or is it obvious the roof needs work? Check all wooden structures for signs of rot.

Does the whole property appear to be well maintained? Take the overall condition of the property into consideration when you submit an offer.

Work with your real estate agent to factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make when you determine your offer price  

Carefully Read The Inspection Report

Inspection reports can be long. But there is a risk of missing important information by not carefully reading the report.

The time to address any areas of concern is as soon as the inspection report is issued. Time is limited for buyers to request repairs or negotiate the selling price in the event of significant problems.

 The inspection may also flag some minor items. However, ignoring small issues can sometimes lead to bigger problems. Make sure to read everything in the report to avoid surprises.

No House Is Perfect

Lengthy inspection reports uncover a great number of deficiencies.  It is important to understand which problems require simple fixes, and which ones will require expensive repairs.

 Your real estate agent can help decide if, and how, to approach the sellers. Focus on the major issues identified in the inspector’s report, and don’t expect the sellers to address every minor item on the list.  

Additional Testing

There are times when an agent or inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist. For example, they may suggest testing for mold, radon or consulting a roofer.

Some buyers, in their rush to close or desire to save money, choose to ignore the recommendation for additional testing.

In some cases, the specialist will offer a free evaluation that are quick to schedule. And if not, the small investment you make could provide peace of mind and could mean future savings.

Have Repairs Re-inspected

Receipts to prove that repairs have been completed are received by buyers or deposited into escrow as part of the closing procedure. It can be prudent to go a step further to have repairs re-evaluated even if there’s an additional charge.

To avoid problems, be specific when requesting repairs. Identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.