When you’re buying a home, there seems to be a lot of waiting around on things that happen behind the scenes. But during the home inspection period, there’s actually a lot you should be doing and educating yourself about. With that in mind, we decided to put together some info on the do’s and don’ts of your home inspection period. Read on for some friendly educational tips on how to navigate and negotiate during what can sometimes be a tricky period of time!
Don’t Wait Too Long to Schedule Your Inspection
Give your inspectors and yourself plenty of time to complete inspections and reports in a timely manner. It’s best to go ahead and start scheduling any inspections you need as soon as you have a ratified contract and go into escrow. Not only will you need the time to actually have the inspection done, but you also need plenty of time to go over the report and decide what you’d like to ask the seller to fix before closing. Give yourself a couple of weeks for the whole process, and don’t forget that a lot of companies just perform inspections on weekdays. On the back end, the seller will also need plenty of time to have the repairs done if needed.
Do Look Into Other Specialists
One home inspector might not cut it for you. For example, one inspector may go to great lengths where structural, mechanical, or electrical integrity is concerned, but they might not be as well versed in child safety as the next. When you have specific concerns or requests, you should consider checking into other specialists. If you’re buying an older house, you might need to hire someone who specializes in things like asbestos and lead paint. If you have a child/children, you could recruit a child safety specialist to be sure things like banisters, stairs, cabinets, and the like are all satisfactory and as childproof as possible.
Don’t Neglect the Report
A good home inspector will provide you with a very detailed report that includes photos of any problematic areas. It’s very important to set aside some time to go through this report thoroughly. Sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of your favorite beverage, a notepad, and a pen, and make a list of anything you want to address. Make some time to go over the list with your real estate agent as well. A seasoned agent can offer up great advice on what you should definitely request that the seller fix versus what minor details and repairs you can let go and address on your own later.
Don’t Ask for Too Many Repairs
It’s super important not to overwhelm the seller with your repair requests. If you present them with a big ol’ laundry list of repairs just to see what they’ll approve, they could very well just say no to everything and send you packing (especially if they’ve had multiple offers on the property). If the issue is something major that affects the structural integrity of the home or the safety of its inhabitants, you should absolutely include it in your wish list. Examples of major issues might be faulty wiring, leaky pipes, a compromised roof, or an HVAC system that’s in dire need of repair or replacement. Just don’t sweat the small stuff that could be considered cosmetic damage, such as peeling paint (as long as it’s not lead-based), a deck that needs restaining or sealing, or siding that needs a good power-washing. All of this can be taken care of later.
Do Check Credentials
When it comes to protecting your family and your investment, you need a qualified, professional home inspector. Though a great handyman is an extremely useful contact to keep in your phone for later on, this isn’t the job for them. Make sure to hire a qualified and credentialed home inspector who comes with good reviews and lots of experience. And feel free to ask questions and interview a few before you make a final choice.