If you are planning on buying or selling, they can play a big part in the success or failure of your transaction.
First of all, there are a myriad of inspections one can do to learn about the condition of a home and the lot it sits on. But, did you know they are not required? Minimally, a home and a pest inspection are encouraged for buyers. The pest inspection is performed with the appropriate license to use the chemicals required to rid the home of termites or fungus. The home inspector looks at everything including heating, cooling, foundation, attic, plumbing, electrical, windows, doors and the list goes on.
I also recommend our Buyers consider having the chimney inspected. Many are not used much, especially if they are wood burning. First it needs to be cleaned, then inspected to ensure creosote hasn't built up or that you don't have cracked or missing tiles in the flue. I had a past client who learned the chimney was pulling away from the exterior walls and the repairs were over $10,000. Another inspection to consider is a sewer lateral, where the plumber places a camera inside the pipe leading to the main sewer line in the street. Many of these pipes in our area are made of clay so roots and soil movement can cause cracks. Issues here can run into the 10's of thousands to repair or replace. If the property has a spa or pool you would also want to learn about any leaks, cracks or inoperable equipment. If the home is on a hill, sometimes a soil, drainage and foundation inspection is in order. Your Realtor will guide you.
In a hot market, buyers might waive their right to an inspection to win a bidding war. Warning: this could hurt you financially if you find yourself having to make large repairs and renovations.
The results can influence your deal — and your price. If the inspector finds issues, the buyer will often want to renegotiate. They might ask the seller to make repairs before closing or offer a credit or lower price point to account for them. If they have an inspection contingency, a buyer can even pull out of the deal without losing earnest deposit money. You have to pay for inspections with most companies requiring payment upfront before you can get the report. The various inspection costs vary by market and inspector, but they typically cost between $250 and $500 per property, per inspection. In today's market, sellers often get pre-listing inspections. By getting one before the home hits the market, sellers can identify any problems that could hold back their sale. Sellers are required to disclose any issues their inspector finds if they haven’t been fixed and act in 'good faith.' Yet, in this case buyers can waive their own inspections, if they are comfortable doing so, and reach out to the seller's inspectors with questions about the reports.
If you're preparing to buy or sell a home, get in touch with me today to start working with an experienced real estate professional. I have a robust list of trusted, local inspectors we can recommend to our clients.