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Buying a home is a huge investment and often your BIGGEST purchase. So, it is important to make sure you know exactly what you are buying. This is why one of the first steps after getting your home under contract is having the home inspected. Inspections can be stressful at times and can seem very daunting for both buyers and sellers. But, never fear, TK Homes is here! At TK Homes, we will help you to get smoothly through the process. This article will focus on helping the buyer better understand what goes on during inspection and what to be concerned about.
There are really two main purposes for an inspection. Homebuyers will want to find out if all systems are in working order and if not, what repairs are needed. They will also get to learn general things about the home they are purchasing. Some general things they will learn about their homes are where the water shut-off valve is in an emergency, where their electrical panel is, the age of their appliances, among many other items.
As far as what to expect, your inspection will usually take 2 - 4 hours depending on the size of your home. If you are not able to come for the entire time, it would be a good idea to come at the end so that the inspector can go over their concerns. If you are not able to be at the inspection at all, don’t worry, the inspection report will be emailed to you for review at home. At TK Homes we pride ourselves on going the extra mile. One of the extra services we provide is being at the inspection whether or not you are able to be there. This is just one more way we are there for you every step of the way on your homebuying journey. As far as which inspections to get, we recommend for most homes that a buyer gets a general inspection, a radon inspection, a sewer inspection, and an inspection of the fireplace if there is one. Some buyers like to do additional testing such as infrared testing to detect any possible moisture in the walls, or have a specialist look at specific systems like the HVAC or roof. These specialists are not always needed as the general inspection includes most of these major systems.
During the inspection, the inspector will look at the main systems in the house (the roof, water heater, air conditioning unit, electrical, furnace, etc.), they will check all of your appliances to see if they are operational, they check all windows for functionality, they look at your siding, status of the grading on the exterior landscaping, your gutters and their drainage and so much more. They also check smoke and CO detectors and alert buyers if there could be potential problems where a buyer may need to bring another contractor out to assess the situation, such as a structural engineer.
After the inspection, your TK Homes agent will discuss any of the concerns you may have about the report and the inspector’s findings with you. We will help you to work through what is important to you, and then we will ask the seller to make repairs. We will write up a document called the Inspection Objection. When we have our discussion, we will talk about what is appropriate to ask for and what is not, and at TK Homes we will help you with this. The biggest thing to remember is that it is the inspector’s job to tear your home apart and make you aware of every little thing wrong with the home. This is not unique to your home, and many of the items listed in the report are regular, ongoing home maintenance. In a nutshell, big ticket items are what a buyer will want to ask for. Examples of these are listed below…
» water heater
All of these items above are expected to be in working order, and when we drafted your contract, we assumed these major systems were in working order. Cosmetic items like paint, stained carpet and light fixtures are not things we typically can ask a seller to fix. Remember, when we drafted our offer, we knew the condition of the home and its finishes; therefore, we cannot ask the seller to fix these items during inspection.
At TK Homes, we use several strategies to help buyers to get the repairs they want. One of those strategies is to add in a few smaller items that the buyer would like addressed but is willing to do after closing. These are the items we can negotiate off the list, allowing a seller to feel like they aren’t having to do everything asked of them. When it comes to the items the buyer wants fixed, you have two options. Either ask the seller to physically make the repairs prior to closing or ask for the money to do the repairs yourself (this is called seller concessions and is money that goes towards your closing costs, reducing the amount of money you have to bring to the table on closing day). There are positives and negatives to both of these strategies. If the seller makes the repairs, then a buyer doesn’t have to do them before they move in, and the seller pays the exact cost of the repairs and has to provide a receipt. The buyer may not have as much say in the materials that are used. If the buyer accepts seller concessions, the buyer has to do the work themselves, but they can have the work completed how they want to have the work completed. There is also the possibility that the scope of the problem may be larger than expected, and the repair could be more costly than originally anticipated. With TK Homes we carefully discuss both options and decide which makes sense, often it’s a combination of both options.
We hope that this short article helps take the initial fear out of inspections. If not, remember at TK Homes, we will walk you through the entire inspection process from helping to set up the inspection itself to making sure that either the repairs get completed or you receive seller concessions for those repairs. We will help educate you, let you know what to expect and aid in taking the anxiety out of the inspection process. Call us today! We will get you past inspection and on your way to the closing table!
~ Written by TK Homes REALTOR® Mary Smith