I was working with a couple looking to purchcase a home recently in Miami. These were informed buyers who liked to do a lot of research on their own and seemed very knowledgable about the home buying process. Yet they still had questions on How Much Time Do You Need for Inspections When Buying A Home in Miami.
The answer may not be as easy as you think. It is important to give some consideration to the Inspection Clause, as the Seller will consider the time requested for Inspections in evaluating the overall offer. I highly recommend that you discuss this clause with your Real Estate Agent and find out what the current trends are in your market.
There are several factors to consider, including;
- Is the subject property being sold a Foreclosure, Short Sale or Traditional Sale?
- Will A Mortgage Be Needed To Purchase The Home?
- Which Contract Is Being Used
- Availability of a Reputable Inspector
Is the Subject Property a Foreclosure, Short Sale or Traditional Sale?
Briefly, Foreclosures usually attract multiple offers and Sellers usually prefer offers that ask for a minimum amount of time to complete inspections. Indeed, some listings state that buyers must complete Inspections BEFORE making an offer! In my opinion that does not mean your offer cannot include an Inspection period, but be aware the Seller may not choose your offer if you do.
Short Sale sellers used to be more focused on the sales price and did not really care about the inspection period timeline. However, as agents and sellers saw deals fall apart due to inspection issues after all the hard work of getting the Approval Letter was done, they realised that it was important to get the property inspections done up front. So when making an offer on a Short Sale, it can help to offer to complete the Inspections up front, and ask for the normal 7-10 day inspection period. And if you think about it, you will need to pay for the Inspection ANYWAY, so why not get it done as soon as possible and not waste your time waiting for an Approval on a property you may not want to purchase. If the inspection raises issues, you will have time to renegotiate with the Seller and submit an addendum to the price to the lender.
With Traditional Sales, depending on how long the property has been on the market and the likelihood of there being multiple offers, you may ask for the maximum time allowed by default, typically 10 days.
Regardless of the type of sale, I recommend that you ask your agent to discuss this clause with the Listing Agent before submitting an offer.
Will a Mortgage be Needed to Purchase the Property?
If so, then of course there will also be a contingency period to obtain financing, usually around 30 days. Some people think "well why does it matter when we complete inspections as long as we do so before the financing deadline?" The answer is that if the inspection results are going to derail the transaction, then the Seller would prefer to know that sooner rather than later so they can put the property back in Active status to find another buyer.
If a buyer is paying all cash, then very often the only contingency in the purchase agreement is the Inspection clause. Many cash buyers are tempted to waive the Inspection contingency completely as they know that an ALL CASH, NO INSPECTIONS OFFER makes for a dream offer to the Seller. However I would encourage any buyer to request time for Inspections as many issues are not visible to a casual observer.
Which Contract Will Be Used?
Here in Florida, buyers have a choice of pre approved formats on which to submit an offer on a Residential property. The important thing to note related to the Inspection Clause is that the method of calculating the days can be either Business Days only or can be Calendar Days. Be sure to read the language carefully so that you are fully aware and allow enough time to complete ALL inspections. Keep in mind that a follow up inspection such as a Mold Inspection may be required if the first inspection raises any red flags. It may be difficult to get an extension to the Inspection period later.
Availability of a Reputable Inspector
Many real estate agents have an established relationship with an Inspector or two they trust to do a thorough and accurate inspection. Like any other professional, the best ones are in high demand and may be booked up for a week or more in advance. So if you are considering making an offer with a short contingency period for inspections, be sure to check the availability of the Inspector in advance. Keep in mind also that it can take up to 48 hours or more for some inspectors to send back the completed report. I am lucky enough to work with an experienced Inspector who very often gets the report back the same day or within 24 hours maximum.
If you have any questions about the Inspection process, please feel free to contact me directly or through the comments section below.