A home inspection is a critical part of the real estate buying/selling process. While a house for sale may look perfect with re-painted walls and new furniture added, digging deeper into the walls, down to the floors and drainage system, and up to the roof to check for damage is a MUST.
Unfortunately, many home sellers and buyers commit several mistakes when getting a property inspected. Not only do these errors hinder a smooth transaction, but it also translates into costly consequences.
Below are what buyers and sellers should either do or avoid doing when getting a house inspected:
DO look for a professional home inspector.
Finding the right inspector is the first important step in the whole process. Too many buyers and sellers look for the cheapest services without doing any research. But the thing is that the inspection is only as good as the inspector they are hiring. It is crucial to check for the inspector’s qualifications, certifications, and training, as well as their years of experience. A good home inspector keeps himself updated with the latest information and technology and is able to explain a property’s strengths and weaknesses very well to their clients.
DON’T miss the inspection.
For it to be successful, the property seller or buyer should be around during the actual inspection. While a report is always made available a few days after, being present at the time the inspector checks the house ensures that they fully understand the current condition of the property. A professional inspector should be able to discuss his findings while on-site and answer questions right away.
DO get a pre-listing inspection.
Many home sellers leave the inspection up to the buyer. This results in them having very little time to do necessary repairs and keep the sale on track. Getting the property inspected ahead of time greatly helps reduce costs. Knowing what areas in the house are susceptible to further damage gives the seller a chance to have it repaired at the soonest possible time or get a temporary fix. For instance, leaky roofs can be covered with poly tarps until the professionals arrive in order to prevent the damage from worsening.
Don’t forget to prepare the house.
Home inspectors are tasked to make a visual assessment of a property and recommend solutions to progress issues, from leaky roofs to cracked walls and outdated electrical panels or dirty and damaged surfaces. In order for them to do it efficiently, the house should be prepared prior to the inspection. This includes moving furniture, emptying closets, unlocking doors, cleaning the surfaces with disinfecting wipes and so on
DO read the inspection report.
A professional home inspector should be able to provide a comprehensive report (with pictures) stating the issues and recommendations to correct it. Taking time to read the report ensures that the seller or buyer fully understands the condition of the house particularly the extent of repair or home renovation work needed before the sale closes.
DO negotiate the repairs.
The buyer doesn’t have to take full responsibility for the repairs needed in the home he seeks to purchase. Depending on the urgency to have it sold, the seller may be willing to foot the bill for some repairs. It’s important to work with the real estate agent to identify which repairs may be shouldered by the seller.