A recent young couple client of mine told me that they wanted to waive the home inspection.
I could feel my eyebrows raise.
Unless we’re in a seller’s market where we’re competing against multiple buyers and offers, I advise getting a home inspection.
Do I really need a home inspection?
In short, absolutely yes!
I know $500 isn’t pocket change for most people but we are talking about protecting your home worth hundreds of thousands of $$$.
The primary purpose of the inspection for the buyer is to make sure that 1) the home is structurally sound, 2) there are no material defects or safety or hazardous issues in the house, and 3) help the buyer learn the inner workings of the house for furnace filter replacements, where the emergency shut-offs are located, and more.
A good home inspector will take the time to explain how things work in your home and what items to keep an eye on. It’s like a verbal instruction manual to your future home. You will get a written report in case you forget all the info that was covered.
You want to feel confident to move forward with your purchase. There can be many problems that aren’t visible to the untrained eye. Even new construction homes can have their flaws.
If you take nothing else from this article: Always get a home inspection.
When does a home inspection happen? What does it cover?
So now that we know a home inspection is important, when do they occur?Home inspections happen immediately after an offer to purchase property has been accepted. In Massachusetts, a buyer is given a 10-day window to hire a home inspector to go through all the systems in the house.
These systems include: the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.
It pretty much covers most of the house at a high level. Most inspections I attend last from 2 to 2.5 hours long.
What do I do with the info?
This is where I remind my clients: A home inspection is not a price renegotiation tool!
I work with my clients to find a resolution for any safety or hazardous issues in the home. Sometimes buyers assume they can use all the problems uncovered in the home inspection to bring down the purchase price.
Let me say again: The purpose of the home inspection is to feel confident enough regarding any safety, material defects or hazardous issues to move forward with your home purchase.
A home inspection is not a price renegotiation tool.
Now back to my clients….with that previous statement clear and ingrained in our minds, we were able to negotiate $2000 back in closing cost credit, which more than paid for the cost of the home inspection. This isn’t always the case so don’t plan on it, but it’s a nice bonus when it happens.
Let me know if you’d like me to break down more real estate topics. I’ll try to keep it in plain English. 🙂 Comment below if this article was helpful!
Photo with Graham Sullivan of R.J. Inspections Inc.
270 Lawrence St, Methuen, MA