Bravo, you got the courage to write an offer on a home, now what?! Well, fortunately nothing is set in stone yet because your agent should have allotted a specific amount of days (in Oklahoma, typically 10) of "due diligence." This is your window of time to collect home inspections, termite inspections, and even structural investigations if deemed necessary by the home inspector. Did you know that you can actually back out of a contract scot-free (minus the home inspection fee) if you find something wrong with the home that makes you too uncomfortable to move forward? This is why picking the right person is so important. A home inspector can make or break a contract.
Now I am sure you're thinking, "I need to find the most thorough inspector out there!", which is correct, but it is equally important to find a well-seasoned professional that won't make every little uh-oh feel like the sky is falling. Too often, I see newer home inspectors take a more "passionate" angle and overwhelm the buyer halfway through when there hasn't even been any major findings yet. Home inspectors take their job very seriously, and they work for YOU! It is their job to find the good, bad, and the ugly and present everything to you in a easy to read report. It is a day of bad news, no matter how you slice or dice it, but having an inspector on your team that provides solutions to each one of those problems is key, and that comes with experience and time.
Typically, letting your Realtor recommend inspectors is a SAFE option. They have tons of experience working with many personalities and they see the type of reports that come back to them. Your realtor is responsible for negotiating the repairs to be handled, so he or she is going to want to find someone thorough. Once the inspection is finished, within 24 hours you and your agent will have the report emailed to you. From there, reports are typically broken down into three sections; green, orange, and red. Red items are typically safety hazards that need to be addressed right away. These are the items your agent will be fighting to get completed BEFORE you close on the property, and paid for by the seller on your behalf. Orange items are sometimes negotiated, but typically a list of findings to keep a close eye on for the future. Green items are what I like to call your future home buyer "honey do" list. These are small errors like loose doorknobs, small cosmetic issues, that can be handled to your liking once you have closed and moved in.
After determining the Red, Orange, and Green items, your Realtor will create a document called the "TRR" (Treatment Repair Report). This report will include what will be asked of the seller to repair before closing. Most TRR items are NEGOTIABLE, however if there are any issues that deem the home uninsurable, I can bet the seller will have no choice but to fix it, Lord willing.
Overall, picking the right home inspector will save you from future headaches as a home owner. Don't let the findings overwhelm you, and trust that you have a team of professionals that will fight for you and the home of your dreams. If you are looking to buy or sell your home, please consider checking out my page here.