You hire an inspector to “check under the hood” of the property. This will cost between $200 and $500. The inspector produces a report with everything he/she finds. Inspectors go through the house with a fine-toothed comb, so they find lots of stuff, big and small. You and your agent look through the report and determine what you can’t live with, such as unsafe radon levels in the basement, for instance. If there’s more than you can handle, you have the option of terminating the contract.
If you want to move forward, you submit an Inspection Objection document to the seller with all the issues you want fixed before you purchase the house. How much should you ask for? While everyone has their own negotiating style, I prefer to ask for a reasonable number of items, rather than everything in the report. No house is perfect, even brand new ones, so it’s not logical for the seller to fix everything. Instead, look for safety issues, items that should be expected to work, and things not working due to neglected maintenance.
Inspection Objection items are negotiable, so you and the seller will debate what will be fixed: all, some, or none. To me, this is the advantage of asking for a reasonable number of items; you are more likely to get what you want if you are reasonable.
After you and the seller agree on what will be fixed, one of the agents prepares an Inspection Resolution, which you and the seller sign. This binds the seller to address the items on the Resolution.
The last step is to verify the work was done. You can hire the inspector to re-inspect the property. You can ask for reciepts to show the work was done. You can also walk-through the property yourself.
Inspections are a necesarry part of home buying (and home selling) process to ensure that peace of mind when you take over your new home.
For a list of qualified inspectors, please contact Gary Clark.