Donna Coakley McGowan's Blog
If a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her residence, it now may be time to schedule a house inspection. And if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can get the information you need to determine whether to proceed with a house purchase.
Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you evaluate a home inspector, and these include:
1. Industry Experience
It generally is a good idea to hire a home inspector who boasts plenty of industry experience. That way, you can work with an inspector who knows what it takes to analyze a house. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to identify underlying house problems before you finalize a home purchase.
Ask a home inspector about his or her industry experience – you will be happy you did. If you dedicate time and resources to learn about a home inspector's industry experience, you can determine if this individual can help you assess all areas of a house.
2. Client Referrals
A home inspector should have no trouble providing client referrals upon request. With client referrals in hand, you can reach out to a home inspector's past clients and learn about their experiences working with this professional.
As you search for the right home inspector, you may want to contact several inspectors in your area as well. If you reach out to multiple inspectors and receive client referrals from them, you can boost the likelihood of making an informed hiring decision.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
There is no guarantee that a home inspector will be available at your convenience. If you need to conduct a home inspection as soon as possible, you should search diligently for an inspector who can fulfill your request.
For those who want to quickly find a top-notch home inspector, there is no need to take shortcuts, either. Remember, a home purchase likely is one of the biggest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. If you fail to hire a highly trained inspector to evaluate a residence, you may struggle to identify potential home problems.
If you need extra help as you search for a house inspector, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can avoid costly, time-intensive mistakes.
A real estate agent can help you get in touch with the top-rated home inspectors in your area. Plus, he or she will provide plenty of guidance throughout the homebuying journey. If you ever have concerns or questions as you decide whether to purchase a house, a real estate agent can respond to them right away.
If you want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience, it helps to employ a first-rate house inspector. By considering the aforementioned factors, you can hire a superb home inspector to review all areas of a house. Then, you can obtain a home inspection report to help you make the best-possible decision about a house purchase.
After you accept an offer to purchase your house, a buyer and his or her real estate agent likely will want to conduct a property inspection. Although the mere thought of a home inspection may cause a property seller to stress, it is important to understand the importance of an inspection for both sellers and buyers.
Now, let's take a look at three things that every seller needs to know about home inspections.
1. A home inspection offers valuable insights for both a seller and buyer.
During a home inspection, a buyer, his or her real estate agent and a house inspector will examine a residence both inside and out. The inspection allows a buyer to take a close look at a residence and identify any underlying issues with a house before finalizing a home purchase.
Meanwhile, a seller may learn about assorted home problems following an inspection as well. And if a home has various problems, a seller may need to correct these issues to fulfill a buyer's requests.
2. A home inspection won't necessarily slow down or stop a house sale.
Typically, a home inspection is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase. At this point, a buyer wants to ensure a home matches or exceeds his or her expectations. With an inspection, a buyer can learn about all aspects of a residence and proceed accordingly.
If problems are discovered during a home inspection, there is no need for a seller to worry. Oftentimes, a buyer will request a seller fix any problems with a home, or he or she may ask for a price reduction. As a seller, you may be able to negotiate with a buyer to find common ground relative to the costs of myriad home repairs too.
3. A home inspection generally does not take long to complete.
In many instances, a home inspection takes just hours to complete, and a buyer will receive a house inspection report within a few days of the evaluation. After a buyer reviews the home inspection report results, he or she can choose to move forward with a home purchase. Or, a buyer can rescind his or her offer to purchase or request home repairs or a reduced purchase price.
A seller will find out how a buyer wants to proceed within days of a home inspection. If a buyer and seller can come to terms after an inspection, both parties can proceed with a home transaction. On the other hand, if a buyer and seller cannot reach an agreement following an inspection, both parties can reenter the housing market.
Lastly, when it comes to selling a home, it often helps to hire an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach a seller about home inspections, as well as what to expect at each stage of the property selling journey. That way, a seller can prepare for any potential home selling hurdles and take the necessary steps to overcome such problems before they get out of hand.
There are few things for a home seller that are more stressful than the home inspection. You hope and pray that everything will come out a-OK in your house so that your buyers will want to continue with the sale without asking for too many contingencies. There’s a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home inspection goes smoothly. The good news is that these tasks won’t cost you a lot of time or money. A few simple actions can save you a lot of grief in unnecessary service calls. Check out these tips to help you get through the home inspection with flying colors:
Check Your Light Bulbs
If you have a light bulb that’s simply burnt out, that could prompt the need for a check of the entire electrical system in your home. Avoid a costly visit from an electrician just by checking your light bulbs and replacing them where necessary.
Check Your Air Filters
The air filters in your home can be easily neglected and be a big problem in the home inspection process. Even if a filter looks a little gray, take the time to replace it. You should check your air filters and furnace filters for any potential problems like tears or excess dirt. For bonus points, you may want to just replace the filters before the inspection no matter how little dirt they have on them. Otherwise, a clogged filter can be a sign that your furnace or heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
Check Your Sinks
A few dollars spent on some drain unclogging chemicals is a few hundred dollars potentially saved on a plumber. Fill up your sinks with water and see how they drain. If they’re a bit slow, get the chemicals that you need to work on unclogging the drains (such as Drain-o). If there’s a funny smell coming from the drain, be sure to address it. Lemons also work wonders on everything from drains to garbage disposals. Even some baking soda and vinegar can help to clean a drain wonderfully.
Fix Major Repairs Before Your Home Goes On The Market
If you know something pressing needs to be fixed or replaced in your home, be sure to fix it before the home even goes on the market. It’s much easier to take care of things before a buyer’s contingency and a time limit is involved. Although you may be hesitant to spend the money, you should replace certain appliances, fix the roof, or address that creaky floor before the “For Sale” sign even goes out front.
There’s a lot to buying a home. There’s no perfect home. Home inspectors will tell you that even brand new houses have their issues. If you know the right questions to ask before you even buy a home, you’ll be armed with a knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have. There are some very revealing questions that you can ask sellers to help you get some insight into a property. These questions can usually also be answered by your home inspector when you get to the inspection process.
Have You Had Water Damage Or Pipe Issues?
Water damage is a big deal. It can hide mold and other damage. There’s also a big issue if the pipes in a home have previously burst, or caused water damage on their own. Especially in cold climates, water damage and burst pipes can be common if the piping has not been properly insulated.
The Age Of The Roof
If the roof on a home has been recently replaced, that’s a huge bonus to buying the home. Roofing typically lasts about 25 years until it needs to be replaced. If a roof is getting close to the end of its lifespan, you can ask for a rebate or be wary that repairs will need to be made in the near future.
If a home has had any kind of significant pest infestation, then you’ll want to know about it and be sure that it has been resolved. There could be some underlying conditions within the home itself that have made the pest infestation possible. Whether there’s some unaddressed holes, rotting wood, or hidden leaks, they’ll need to be taken care of so that an infestation doesn’t reoccur.
This may sound strange but some people will run out of their homes as fast as they can if they see a ghost or something else. “Haunted houses” are a particularly difficult sell. This includes homes with:
- Ghost sightings
- Unusual deaths
- Drug labs
Many states require that these problems and conditions be revealed in a disclosure statement. Other states do not legally require this. Check local laws to find out more about paranormal activity disclosures.
Some other great questions to ask when you’re in the process of buying a home are:
- Will your car fit in the garage?
- How much are the utility costs?
- Who are the utility companies?
- Does the home have a sewer or a septic tank?
- Are there any warranties left on items in the home?
Asking these questions not only helps you as you move into a new home, but it helps you to get a better understanding of what types of insurance you need to put on your home. If you need to add a few extra pieces to the policy to protect yourself due to any information that you learn, you’ll feel safer.