Normally, most home inspections are ordered and completed after a home buyer has made an offer on a property and has been accepted by the seller. At this time, there tends to be much excitement, impatience and anxiety with all parties involved in the transaction. The concern is: what to do if the inspector finds something wrong with home? Do not worry, on resale properties the inspector always finds something wrong, but very few of the homes fail to close. If seller and buyer work cooperatively together, you will find a solution that is satisfactory to all parties. Remember an inspector is trying to insure the house is not hiding reasonably discoverable problems such as: leaky roof, water, and electrical problems. Having a good inspector will help you understand home inspection entails. The first thing you will need to do is select an inspector. Your real estate agent has your back, and he can recommend a reputable home inspector. When selecting an inspector be sure the person is licensed or certified, ask how long he has been doing business, what are his charges for an inspection, get an understanding what is inspected and not inspected, how soon will you receive the written report and what is contained in the report, and get a sample report. Generally, inspectors do not check everything, they inspect the house for only problems that can been seen. Inspectors, normally do not put themselves in danger, cannot predict what may happen in the future, but usually willing to give a rough idea of how many more years a roof might last for example. In addition, inspectors are generalists, and a basic inspection does not include swimming pools, wells, septic systems, structural engineering work, ground beneath the home, fireplaces, and chimneys. These types of inspections are usually done by a specialist for additional charge. An inspector will not tear down walls or use x-ray capability to find hidden problems. Once the inspection is complete the inspector will develop a written report detailing the things inspected on the property and provide a condition statement about each. Example of some of the items inspected would include roof, damage due to moisture, pest infestation, HVAC, and electrical, etc. Normally, the inspection report will provide photos and noting observed defects. As a buyer of the property, I recommend you show up towards the end of the inspection to view and discuss problem areas with the inspector. There is no substitute to personally viewing the situation with the inspector versus just reading the inspection report and asking questions. Finally, once the inspection has been completed and if there are structural defects, building code violations, and/or safety issues be prepared to negotiate with the seller of property. There will be minor issues, do not negotiate on these issues. Pick your battles and only negotiate on major issues. There are two ways to satisfy negotiate repairs, have the seller contribute to buyer’s closing cost and you do the repairs yourself, or have the seller do the repairs using a licensed contractor. If the seller does the repairs, be specific as to what repairs need to be done and request an invoice from the licensed contractor prior to closing.
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