There are several essential steps to buying or selling a home, and scheduling a home inspection ranks pretty high on the list. It’s going to cost you a few extra bucks as a buyer, but think of it as an insurance policy safeguarding what could very well be the largest purchase of your life.
Since it is so important, it’s definitely something you should educate yourself on. What’s involved with a home inspection? How do I pick a reputable inspector? What will he or she be looking for?
These are all very good questions to ask yourself as a buyer, and your Realtor can certainly help in answering them. But it’s also important to be prepared for an inspection as a seller.
So today, we’re going to go over a few important points to consider when preparing for a home inspection – four if you’re a buyer and four more if you’re a seller.
Let’s get started…
4 Things to Know About Home Inspections – As A Buyer
#1 – Pick the Right Person for the Job. Ask your agent for referrals, request a sample inspection report, make sure the person you hire is bonded and insured and compare the costs and references of different companies. This is a very important part of the buying process, one that will protect you from unexpected repairs in the near term, so do your due diligence and hire someone who will do a good job on your behalf.
#2 – Ask the Right Questions. These include things like what’s included in the inspection, what it’s going to cost you, how the process works and anything else you can think of that pertains to your unique situation. It’s also your right to be on-site for the inspection, if you choose, so don’t be afraid to do so. At the very least, ensure that your Realtor will be there during the inspection.
#3 – Negotiate, If Necessary. If the inspector finds problem areas that need to be addressed before the sale, negotiate new terms with the seller. You may want to ask for some repairs to be completed, or you can ask for credits or other stipulations moving forward. Always ask your Realtor for advice in this instance, as he or she certainly has the appropriate experience and can guide you.
#4 – Be Reasonable. It’s a near certainty that the home inspection is going to turn up a few things here and there, but not everything needs to be addressed before a sale is finalized. If the needed repair is a minor issue that will only cost a few dollars, then it’s usually in your best interest to just let it go.
4 Things to Know About Home Inspections – As A Seller
#1 – Be Prepared. If you know that a home inspection is coming up, be sure your home is ready for the big day. Make certain the power is on and that the inspector can easily move about the home, while viewing anything and everything he or she will need to take a look at. Any attics and basements need to be easily accessible, as well as closets, furnaces, hot water heaters and more.
#2 – Consider Having a Pre-Listing Inspection Done. If you’re going to be listing your home for sale, you can always have an inspection done before doing so. In fact, many real estate agents will advise to do this, to ensure that no surprises pop up later in the selling process. Having an inspection done at this stage can also help to set appropriate pricing, as well as aiding you in determining what condition your home is actually in.
#3 – Top Issues To Look Out For. As a seller, you certainly don’t want to be surprised with an inspection that turns up things you’re not prepared to address. Some of the issues to be on the lookout for, prior to a buyer’s inspection, include any types of structural problems, termite damage, drainage issues, mold and/or mildew and plumbing problems. These types of things can be handled before finding a buyer and can help to speed up the closing process.
#4 – Be Honest. If you’ve had an inspection done ahead of time, or even if you haven’t and you’re aware of certain problems, be sure to disclose these issues to your potential buyer. Chances are good that the buyer’s inspector is going to find these problems anyway, so it’s in your best interest to be honest and straightforward up front.
The Oldfather Group is one of the largest and most successful real estate teams in Delaware and Maryland’s coastal region, with agents who have amassed many decades of experience in the local markets. If you have any questions on the home inspection process, or just need some expert advice on real estate in general, give us a call today at 302-260-2000.
We’d love to get to know you and determine how we can make your dream of buying or selling real estate at the Delaware and Maryland beaches a reality.
Have a great day!