Most buyers don’t climb on the roof, or check the chimney for cracks, or walk through a home with an infrared gun to look for hot spots in the electrical panel. Buyers don’t usually squeeze into an attic or crawlspace to check for adequate insulation or signs of moisture; they don’t examine the major mechanical systems or flush all the toilets to check for back ups. Therefore, a professional home inspector is routinely hired by the buyer to receive a full report. This helps the buyer make an informed decision and gives the seller an opportunity to remedy the problem, as a successful sale can hinge on the findings.
As a buyer, it is reasonable to expect the seller to address structural, safety and hazardous concerns. Often times, the seller isn’t aware of these issues; but once determined, this can be used as a negotiation tool and may give the buyer some bargaining power.
Be that as it may, inspections are not about making the house perfect or to give the seller a huge list of cosmetic repairs. Remember, negotiating is an art and the homeowner isn’t obligated to fix everything.
Buyers should keep in mind to ask for items they are willing to walk away from. A handful of items they are really concerned about is far more likely to get ironed out than a laundry list of every flaw noted by the inspector. Items that were clearly visible while viewing the property the first time, should be considered before making an offer.
The cost of a professional home inspection typically ranges between $250-$500. It is recommended that the buyer attend the inspection; not only is it buying peace of mind, but a great opportunity to ask questions about the systems, maintenance and prevention. Keep in mind, home inspectors are not a party to the contract and will not offer their opinion of the sales price or the value of the property.
A good home inspection report include photos, summaries and recommendations; it also gives an estimation of the remaining useful life of the roof, systems, equipment and other items about the property.
General home inspections do not routinely go behind walls and under flooring, test for radon, sewer, lead, asbestos, soil, water, mold, termites, swimming pools, outbuildings, or sprinkler systems; although the inspector may offer these inspections for an additional charge, or refer you to a professional that does.
A thorough home inspection is an invaluable resource for any buyer and highly recommended in the homebuying process.
Wriitten by Allison Cassieri for the Broomfield Enterprise. Allison Cassieri is a Broker Associate with RE/MAX Alliance in Westminster, an accredited home stager and a resident of Broomfield.