Here's a great blog by Russel Ray about ways you can use your home inspection report. Home inspections are so important. Sometimes a buyer might just need to know what kind of work they're getting into and a home inspection does work as a to do list.
Other times, a buyer might find out that a major problem exists and they wouldn't have known without the home inspection. This allows the buyer to possibly renegotiate with the seller or even back out of the deal if they choose.
I even had buyers who purchased a foreclosure property and got a home warranty, the home warranty company wasn't going to honor the warranty - until we provided them with a copy of the home inspection!
A baker's dozen ways to use a home inspection report
When I started my home inspection business in October 2001, I thought there was only one use for a home inspection report. Oh, how naive I was. Since then I've discovered many uses for home inspection reports:
- Buyers actually WILL read the report to become more knowledgeable about the home they are buying in terms of safety, maintenance, etc. Imagine that.
- Buyers can use it to renegotiate the sales price of the property. When the Seller's disclosure includes such worthwhile statement as "Don't know," "Unsure," and "Doesn't apply," yet they do know, they are sure, and it does apply (based on the home inspection, public records, manufacture dates, etc, maybe there should be a penalty for deceit?
- Buyers can ask for upgrades. Sellers don't have to grant them, but upgrades that make the home safer are worth asking for. It's possible that since the home was built, we've got a lot more experiential evidence and technology that can make the home safer.
- Buyers can determine if they can afford common maintenance. A home along the coast with wood siding will require more annual maintenance than a stucco home out in the desert.
- Buyers can budget for big-ticket items. If the water heater is going strong, it's highly likely that the Sellers are not going to replace it, even if it was manufactured in 1978. Since the water heater IS past its life expectancy, budgeting for the day it fails makes sense.
- Buyers can use the home inspection as a to-do list to take care of things that were not on the list of requested repairs or the Seller declined to take care of.
- Buyers can use the report as a means of canceling the purchase agreement. Usually this is because there are too many things to take care, Seller would need to postpone closing in order to take care of everything the Buyer wants taken care of, etc.
- Sellers can get a pre-listing inspection and use the resulting report as part of the disclosure process in an "as is" sale.
- Sellers can get a pre-listing inspection and use the resulting report to correct major items that could cause problems during escrow, such as renegotiating the price, postponing escrow in order to have enough time to correct major items, canceling the purchase altogether, etc.
- Buyers and Sellers can provide the report to repairpersons so they can understand the problem when providing estimates for repair or replacement.
- Buyers can use the report as part of their own disclosure process when they become Sellers.
- Home owners can get a maintenance inspection and use the report to determine if their home is holding up well, particularly useful for new homes where the warranty is about to expire.
- Buyers and Sellers can use the report as liner for the bird cage. Don't laugh! I saw this once when the Buyers were not happy with their home inspector and report and called me to do a more thorough one. They did get their money back from the first inspector.
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