Inspections, inspections and more inspections

Whether buying or selling a property, you are bound to run into the dreaded word... inspection (cue the dramatic music). Your heart beats a little faster, palms get clammy. Why is everyone so worried about an inspection? And how many could there possibly be during a single transaction?

  • Let's start with the first (and usually the most important) one. This is called the private home inspection. Once an offer is accepted, typically, the buyer has about 7-10 days to do their due diligence in making sure that the home is in acceptable condition. This is inspection is voluntary, but completely necessary. Unless the buyer is a plumber, carpenter, HVAC tech, pest control savvy, foundation expert, mold inspector, (and more) all wrapped up into one, they need to hire a home inspector. Their job is to give every detail about the home so the buyer can make a reasonable decision on whether they want to continue with the purchase. THEY WORK FOR THE BUYER! 
    • So what if things do not go so well? That's where the agents step in. They will negotiate  to get the items repaired, replaced, or come to an agreement financially. The buyer can also walk away from the transaction if they so desire and take their deposit with them. 
    • The seller does not have to agree to fix or reduce the price. In a seller's market, this is more and more common to have the buyer assume all repairs.
  • After the initial inspection, the buyer's lender (depending on their loan)  may have to come out to give the property a one over. They are looking for a little more obvious repairs than the private inspector, but can stop a deal right in it tracks. Very common VA and FHA cited repairs are peeling paint, cracked windows, missing handrails, etc.
  • Let's not forget about City Inspections. Not every city or township requires this one. You will need to check with the local municipality. This one usually pertains to code related issues such as smoke detectors, electrical outlets, correct ventilation, etc.  
  • Some other less common would be pest inspection (REQUIRED on VA loans), septic field inspections (may or may not be required by local municipality), fireplace/chimney inspections, Radon testing and even mandatory water testing in certain areas.
These are not on every transaction, but could possibly pop up. One way to make the deal go smoothly is for the seller to do a pre-inspection before putting the house on the market. This will help find the problems first so they can be resolved before having to reduce the price, slow the closing or put any doubts in the buyer's mind.

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