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Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process.The purchase price is the first indicator about cost, but understanding the condition of the home and its working systems complete the equation – what is the true cost of owning the home?
Homes inspections are similar to annual physical exams—the house receives a basic once over from head to toe, systems are tested and examined and if there is any cause for concern, a deeper and more thorough investigation will be conducted by a specialist in the field.
It's rare that a purchase offer is accepted without allowing for a home inspection contingency. Just because a home is advertised as "As-Is" does NOT mean that you are not entitled to investigate the condition of the home. If the home is bank-owned, this investigation is especially important because they do not give you disclosures, they do not have any first hand knowledge of problems and you will have to discover them completely on your own.
Buyers at minimum should have a home inspection and in California, a pest inspection.The resulting reports may include professional recommendations for additional inspections such as roof, septic, chimney, pool, foundation, sewer lines, structural or soil evaluation to name a few.It isn’t typical that a buyer performs all of these various inspections, but age, current condition and the size and type of property may prompt them to do so.
General home inspectors are obligated to do a thorough visual inspection of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation and to clearly identify items in poor condition or not functioning properly.They should also identify anything in the home that is not up to code, or could be a danger to the inhabitants.Inspection reports typically have a summary section, separated into categories:
1.Code Violations 2.Health and Safety 3.Non-functioning Items.
They will also mention areas needing ongoing or periodic maintenance.
Those findings should give the buyer an understanding of all major working systems of the home – are they safe, operational, and up to code, and whether the inspector recommends further investigation.Reports deal with factual information and inspectors who stick to the facts in their verbal summary are invaluable.
Ideally, buyers are present to do a walk-through as the inspector points out his findings. Top notch home inspectors deliver the facts and their findings in a professional manner without alarming prospective buyers with stories about the house from hell, residential money pits and other tales from the bowels of the internal workings of hundreds of houses.The buyers are only interested in one home, the one they are contemplating purchasing.
Inspectors cannot see behind walls, and should report on known and visible defects only. There is a fine line, however, and inspectors should certainly report on items that are aging and those that have a certain ‘shelf life’ per se. For example, if the average exterior paint job on a home in a given area lasts seven years, the inspector should advise that the paint is beginning to wear and the average exterior paint job lasts approximately seven years.
Repairs and improvements are two different things. Inspectors are hired to report on the condition of the property. If they say that the electrical wires are worn or an outlet does not work, it is the buyer’s responsibility to ascertain whether this repair is necessary (not the inspectors).
Most buyers don’t have a home inspector (or others for that matter) whom they know and want to hire, but look to their agent for suggestions.It is prudent to give buyers a choice of several companies.However, agents for the most part want to work with an inspector they know to be thorough, honest, who is pragmatic in their approach, and who takes the time after the inspection to go through each and every item of concern with the agent and the buyer.It is everyone’s hope that the inspector doesn’t find anything, and psychologically, we dread it when something comes up on the report in red.
However, the scope of work for the home inspector is broad, yet ultimately simple. They must do their utmost to be thorough and cover themselves.Seeing a potential problem without drawing attention to it or suggesting it for further inspection opens them up to liability.
It is the agent’s job to go over the report with the client and to discuss which items the inspector has noted as requiring special attention, and what to request from the seller to repair or replace. This is another element in the negotiating process. However, the level of sophistication and experience in the home buying process varies from buyer to buyer, as do their long-term intentions for the property.The buyer has a financial and usually, an emotional interest in the property. The facts uncovered during inspections may elicit a strong opinion as well.Home inspectors who share an unsolicited opinion run the risk of derailing a transaction.
As far as maintaining balance and not becoming alarmist, it is the job of the inspector to report using the utmost professionalism. Sometimes, information can be conveyed tactfully and other times, the tone in which information is conveyed is what sets off an alarm. The best inspectors deliver news in a neutral manner, allowing the buyers to ask questions, review findings and work with their agent on those items of concern to them.
A professional and competent home inspector raises the comfort level of both the agent and buyer regarding the asset in question, and any resulting next steps (to continue or abandon a purchase).A multi-page report with photos certainly lets the prospective buyers see a house in a revealing light.A home inspection is a session filled with education, counseling and helps satisfy the ‘buyer beware’ element of a real estate transaction.Clients should take to heart suggested “further evaluation” recommendations made by a home inspector.Tending to a present small problem now can ward off major issues in the future.
Are any of the findings deal breakers??Are the deficiencies fixable, and at the seller’s expense?There are very few perfect properties, and ultimately the buyers should have time to review the information, consider their options and determine their next steps. No one party in the equation should be pushing them one way or another with opinions.
I am a Maryland transplant from many other places, most recently Florida, but since 1997 I have found my true home in the heart of this great State. Maryland has it all. Mountains 3 hours to the West, the Atlantic Ocean 3 hours to the East and head North and South for either Philadelphia and New York or Washington DC. It is the perfect location! The Metro Baltimore area offers a rich mix of history and modern amenities. City living, suburbia or "not a neighbor in sight" is available in this area. Excellent Schools, amazing communities and an incredible location is why many people choose to live in Central Maryland. I proudly help my clients buy and sell all types of homes in Howard County and beyond. Enjoying the entire process is my goal for my clients. Every transaction is different and everyone has different needs. I know the Metro Baltimore area well and I am current on the Real Estate Market activity- That's my job.
As your "Buyers Agent" I will work diligently to find you the home that suits all your needs. I will update you immediately when a home matches your search criteria. I will educate you on the current market and help you craft the best offer possible. I will "hold your hand" throughout the entire process.
As your "Listing Agent" I will coach and guide you from day one to put your best foot forward when you list your home. I will use aggressive and innovative marketing strategies to give your home the best exposure possible. I will use modern technology and multiple resources that other agents do not use. I WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH PROOF OF ALL MY EFFORTS.
I am a full time agent and I my number one goal is to give you exceptional service ALWAYS.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.