A property inspection is one of the most important parts of the purchasing process, yet many buyers don’t know what to expect from the various players involved. Here’s a guide to the roles and responsibilities each of the players has during a typical property inspection.
You, the Buyer
Prior to the inspection, review the seller’s property disclosures and know up front what questions you have for the inspector. Before you release your inspection contingency, know exactly what you are purchasing and that there are not any surprises down the road. Consider the importance of a termite inspection, radon testing and a sewer scope inspection. Know and understand what each test will involve and the type of issues that may or may not be discovered.
Depending on the size of the home it is recommended that you block out about 2.5 hours for the inspection. Typically the buyer’s agent and hired inspectors will be present, and these few hours can be critical. Most inspections go smoothly, but some can be the beginning of tough negotiations.
The Buyer’s Agent
Your agent should be standing by your side to walk you through the inspection process. Professional Real Estate Agents have handled many inspections and negotiations after the inspection. If you’re getting a really good price on the home, your agent would likely advise you not to bother the seller for small fixes. If you’re paying top dollar and discover serious flaws, your agent can guide you on how to best proceed after the inspection.
As the buyer, you hire the home inspector, preferably ASHI Certified (American Society of Home Inspectors), the most respected professional association for home inspectors in North America. A good inspector will remain impartial and they will point out things to be addressed. Whenever possible, follow the inspector through the process so you can learn all of the positive items of the home, any deficiencies of the home, and learn some great maintenance tips.
A wise buyer will want to know what to expect when purchasing a home and will want to be prepared for current and possible future issues.