Kick-off the Home Inspection Process
You made an offer on a house and the seller accepted it. What now? A home inspection!
Your next task is to get the home inspection done during the option period. The home inspection is a pivotal point in the home buying process. Understanding the timing and value of a home inspection is easier than you think.
A home inspection is a visual examination of a property’s structure and systems.
North Point always recommends that you make your offer to purchase a home contingent upon a home inspection. Period. This contingency allows you to ask for price concessions, ask the sellers to make repairs or give allowances for repairs, or in some cases, terminate the contract and walk away.
Understand, the Seller is under no obligation to change the original terms of the contract. You’re buying a pre-owned home. Once you get the results of the home inspection, it’s time to review the report objectively. Get with your agent to strategize on how you want to go forward. Your agent can advise you about your best course of action.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a shortlist of inspectors for you to consider. Inspectors they have interacted with in the past, with past clients. We also suggest that you ask for recommendations from friends and family who have had recent experiences with home inspectors. Consider the following five areas when making your decision:
- Qualifications – Find out what’s included in your inspection. The price, size, and age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties. Specifically in Texas, you should get a Wood Destroying Insect report for termites, wood ants, etc. These hungry little insects can do serious damage to your home.
- Sample Reports – Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. In most cases, the more detailed the report, the better.
- References – Do your homework. Ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to discuss their experiences.
- License – Choose an inspector who is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, but this is no time to accept weak credentials from your inspector! Membership in one of these groups is not the only way to evaluate your choice but it does, however, mean continued training and education are required to maintain good standing and licenses.
- Errors and Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human, after all, and it is possible they might miss something they should see.
Your Involvement in the Home Inspection
It’s okay to ask your inspector if you want to tag along during the inspection. But we have a better suggestion. Due to the length of the inspection process (three-plus hours) and the fact that you will distract and slow down the inspector, we recommend you meet after he’s finished. You can meet at the house with the inspector and your agent at the conclusion of the inspection for a summary report of his findings. At that time the inspector can point out anything that should be addressed, repaired, or things that require further evaluation by a specialist.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. Inspectors are not allowed to move anything in order to access areas and they can’t see through walls. The inspector looks for issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating, and air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, fireplace and chimney, foundation, and so much more. The report details his findings of the property conditions.
Choose your home inspector wisely. After all, you’re investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. This is no time for shortcuts! Work with professionals you can trust to give you the best information possible, so you can make an educated decision about your purchase.
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