Hello again! This week marks the fourth week of our Your Questions Answered blog series. Through this series, (which we affectionately like to think of as our own twist on ‘Dear Abby’) we hope to debunk some of the most perplexing questions about the real estate process.
Today, our agent Jess will be giving her tips on home inspections. Why should you get one as a buyer or seller, and are they supposed to be your friend… or foe? Read on…
“My realtor is telling me to get a Home Inspection completed on the house I am buying. Why do I need to do this?”
A major step in the buying/selling process is the Home Inspection. Sellers/Buyers may feel excited that they have a completed contract on their home, and then comes the waiting period of finding out what may (or may not) be wrong with the home. For some, that waiting might sort of feel like it did when you were a child, who after getting into trouble was told, “wait until your Dad gets home!” But, hopefully our tips below will help ease your mind about the Home Inspection.
- Don’t skip the Inspection! Having your “new” home inspected is ALWAYS a good idea (even if the home is new construction!) A Home Inspection is there for the protection of the buyer. It is one of the contingencies that is placed in the contract, giving you an “out” if necessary. The Home Inspection will allow you to analyze each part of the house, giving you a good idea of what problems/repairs you may be facing as the buyer. It also provides you with a negotiating tool in order to have the sellers make repairs or give the buyers a $$ credit.
- Use a trusted inspector. We recommend hiring a licensed/trained home inspector. Some of you may have Dads who consider themselves handymen or friends who work in construction, and while both are great people to have in your life to help with a new home, we would still suggest not having them do your inspection. A licensed home inspector should check the home from top to bottom. They know what kinds of things to be looking for and they can walk you through how critical (or not critical) each of those items are, etc. Wondering how to go about finding a good inspector? Consult your realtor or ask your friends/family that have purchased a home in the last year or so. They should be able to provide you with someone they recommend. You can also check out our list of trusted home inspectors, here.
- The inspection report: The report will include photos and descriptions of each of the items that the inspector finds and deems reportable. The report may include things as substantial as rewiring the electrical panel or as minimal as replacing a cabinet knob. The inspector should spend at least 20 minutes going over the report with you and answering any questions you have about the items he found during his inspection. A copy of the report will be given to you and your realtor. Your realtor will then discuss with you how to proceed, which items to ask for (if not all of them), and what to expect as you proceed with the real estate transaction.
- Preparing for the Inspection as a Seller: If you are a seller, we suggest trying to fix the small things that you probably know need attention before having an inspection completed on your property by a potential buyer. Small fixes that often get neglected include things like replacing missing outlet covers, fixing disconnected/missing downspouts, tightening loose cabinet doors and repairing doors that may be missing weather stripping. It will save you time, it will lessen the items on the inspection report that your buyer will ask you to repair and it is a way that you can easily put your home’s “best foot forward.”
Thanks for tuning in to our “Your (Real Estate) Questions Answered“ blog series! | Last week: Home Repairs: Home Owner or Handyman? | Want to stay connected? Like us on Facebook + follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And, as always, check out our current homes for sale in the Nashville area.