Home Inspections: The Buyer's Advantage Before Reaching the Closing Table
The perfect home sits in your desired neighborhood, and you instantly fall in love with it. Nearly ripping out the real estate agent's sign from the manicured lawn, you put electronic pen to paper with your competitive offer, and the seller agrees to your price & terms.
The deal is done and now it is time to move inside your dream home. Unfortunately, in your zeal to win the deal, you skipped the home inspection. A few short days later, it is discovered that the roof leaks, the drain line is clogged all the way to the municipal sewer system, and half the house has no electricity due to the old knob and tube wiring.
It's relatively easy to avoid the the gravest of home buyer mistakes by taking advantage of the home inspection contingency.
Home Inspections: Discover Problems Before Closing
When it comes to inspections, many buyers loathe to having these evaluations performed before purchasing a home. Especially in a competitive market, buyers may not want to risk losing the home. Some buyers think the money spent on the inspection could instead go toward the purchase price of the property. Other buyers assume the seller will be more forthcoming about the condition of the home, providing all the details in disclosure paperwork.
"In a competitive market? In case of multiple offers, be wary of the temptation side-step the home inspection process."
As a home buyer, you need to protect yourself to the fullest, and look past the initial expense of the home inspection. Consider the many advantages of having a qualified inspector look over the house thoroughly before fully committing to a purchase. An inspection provides three main benefits to buyers:
- The inspection will reveal issues with the house that will need to be addressed. You can set aside the necessary funds to make renovations.
- Your real estate agent can use the inspection information during the negotiation process. They may be able to either get the seller to lower the contract price because of the repairs you have to perform, or have the seller perform the repairs themselves.
- If the seller claims to have made repairs to the property, the inspector can double-check to ensure the seller is telling the truth. The inspector can also inspect the quality of performed repairs and if those repairs were done following all building and zoning codes.
Types of Home Inspections to Consider
There are many types of home inspections that you can have performed on the property. Which inspections to obtain will be based on many factors including the age of the house and the specific features to the structure. We have broken down inspections into two main categories: general inspections and specialist inspections.
"Home inspectors aren't created equal! Dont' just open-up the phone book - ask your real estate agent for a list of trusted inspectors."
General home inspections will normally involve the inspector examining the major functions of the home. They will note potential issues yet cannot give you more in-depth advice because they may not be licensed depending on the state they work in. Instead, they may refer you to a specialist. Types of general inspections that will be performed:
- Roof inspections
- Foundation inspections
- Electrical inspections
- Plumbing inspections
- Heating and cooling system inspections
Basements are not common in Las Vegas. Some inspectors will also check basements for drainage issues, as well as the walls, ceilings and flooring. Always obtain a list of services that the general home inspector will provide.
A general home inspector will recommend a specialized inspection by a licensed professional if they spot a defect that goes beyond their scope of knowledge or experience. You may also seek out a specialized inspection for homes that may have specific features, such as wells and chimneys. Types of specialized inspections you may have performed:
- Well inspections
- Pest Inspections
- Chimney inspections
- In-ground pool inspections
- Mold inspections
- Asbestos testing
- Radon testing
Planning for an Inspection
Once you enter into contract, arrange to have the home and property inspected immediately after your offer is accepted. It's important to discuss inspection contingencies & related contract timelines with your agent before writing-up an offer. Allowing enough time to arrange for all inspections will provide your real estate agent with the required information to execute the best negotiation strategy.