Home Inspections Guidelines
You might consider having the house inspected. A rather good idea.
In a home inspection, a buyer learns the overall condition of the house, including specifics about the age and condition of major appliances and systems. In contracting for a house at a given price, the home inspection allows the buyer to know the house is worth the price.
In my experience, a buyer choose the house based on family/personal needs, i.e. close to work, great backyard or awesome Master Suite, for example. This is very reasonable as the house must fit the buyers’ need as the buyers most likely will live there for years. Yet, to not evaluate the condition of the house can be a tragic mistake.
There are simple guidelines for buyers to follow to ensure they know the condition and /or issues present in the home now under contract. These guidelines are”
1. Ensure the inspector is certified by one or more of these associations: NAHI, ASHI Note: These organizations have standards that home inspectors must meet that are above and beyond VA state liscensure.
2. Be confident in your Realtor’s recommendation for Home Inspectors. From numerous home sale, your Realtor knows competent Home Inspectors that provide a through inspection and clear definition between minor issue and safety or high cost repairs.
3. Know the time frame for a home inspection includes the time to do the inspection and to prepare and present the requested repair to the seller. So a 10 day inspection time frame starting on May 4th means a report must be to the seller prior to May 14th.
3. Be present for the home inspection. Though a buyer can be absent as I have personally been present at a home inspection for the buyer, it is best if the home buyer can hear directly the home inspector comments and be shown the issue noted or see the pictures real time. This process ensures the home buyer can question the home inspector to clarify understanding.
4. Follow home inspector as much or as little as desired during the inspection. A home inspector will call a buyer to point out significant issues found. Yet, if you prefer to follow the home inspection, it is great!! BUT LIMIT QUESTIONS AS THE HOME INSPECTOR CAN BE DISTRACTED AND MISS A STEP IN HIS OR HER PROCESS.
5. Request the seller to repair all safety and major cost items and work with Realtor regarding typical practices for minor issues. In Chesapeake(as all of Hampton Roads), your Realtor will suggest requesting certain repairs that may come up during the Walk Through(completed the day of or day prior to closing).
6. Know the repairs from a home inspection are negotiable. Sellers in Chesapeake(and all Hampton Roads) are provided 5 days to review and negotiate with you as the buyer the repairs to be completed.
Do not be surprised if a seller refuses to complete some repairs. Your Realtor and you can discuss again the seller eliminated repairs to determine what of those changes are acceptable or not acceptable. If the buyer and seller cannot agree on repairs, the buyer will have the earnest money returned and can look for a new property. A Release will be prepared and signed by Buyer and Seller to cancel the transaction.
7. If repairs negotiations results in a mutally agreed list of repairs. the seller has until walk through to complete these repairs.
8. Depending on the repair and how the repair request was made, the seller is obligated to do all repairs in a good workmanlike manner, providing receipts for any repair completed by a trade.
A buyer has the right to have the home inspector re-inspect a repair to ensure it was completed properly. Typically there is a small charge for this re-inspection. Yet, it can be a good idea if the repair may be hard to verify at walk through.
9. During the walk through, your Realtor and you should review each repair that was agreed to be completed during the home inspection.
10 After closing, the seller is not obligated to repair items that “break”. Thus if Murphy Law strikes and the water heater burst the day after closing though fine during the home inspection and walk through, the buyer must handle the repair.
NOTE: IF the buyer believes the seller hid a problem that shows up after closing or defrauded the buyer in some way as to the condition of the home, the buyer should consult an attorney.
Chesapeake Real Estate: Home Inspections