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Passing the inspection advances you to the next level: closing the deal on your house.
Getting beyond the home inspection is sort of like advancing to the next level in a video game.
When you get past this step, you get to advance to a fresh, exciting place — your new home, to be exact.
In Every Inspection, There Are Stakes for Buyers and Sellers:
Once the buyer has made, and you’ve accepted, the offer, your home will get the once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is usually a contingency of the offer, meaning the buyer can back out based on serious problems discovered. The lender also expects an inspection to make sure it’s making a good investment. Makes sense, right?
During the home inspection, an inspector will examine the property for flaws. Based on the inspector’s report the buyer will then give you a list of repair requests.
Your agent will work with you to negotiate those requests. Don’t want to be responsible for a repair? (Maybe it’s best if the buyer has the fix made by their own contractor anyway.) Your agent may be able to negotiate a price credit with the buyer instead.
By the way, inspections aren’t necessarily a big, scary deal. Your agent will help advise you about repairs you need to make before the inspection. In fact, she may have made those recommendations to you even before you put the home on the market. And if you’ve been maintaining your home all along (and you have, right?), your punch list may be minimal.
In addition, back when you put the home on the market, you were required to disclose to buyers the home’s “material defects” — anything you know about the home that can either have a significant impact on the market value of the property or impair the safety of the house for occupants. Material defects tend to be big underlying problems, like foundation cracks, roof leaks, basement flooding, or termite infestation.
What a Home Inspection Covers Depends on the Home:
Every home is different, so which items are checked during your property’s inspection may vary. But home inspectors typically look at the following areas during a basic inspection:
Depending on the sales contract, the purchase may also be contingent on a roof inspection, radon inspection, or termite inspection.
What a home inspection won’t cover is the unseen. Your inspector isn’t going to rip open walls or mountaineer on the roof. (Though that would be kind of exciting to watch.)
So What Do You Need to Fix?
A home inspection report is by no means a to-do list of things that you must address. Many home repairs, including cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear, are negotiable.
There are, however, three occasionally overlapping types of repairs that sellers are typically required to deal with after a home inspection:
Again, addressing these might take the form of a credit on the pirce, which in the case of structural issues could be sizeable.
Use This Checklist to Prepare for a Home Inspection:
So, are you ready for the inspection? If you take these steps (with your agent’s assistance) you will be:
It’s a Good Idea to Do Your Own Inspection Before the Inspection:
Some sellers choose to hire their own home inspector to check the property before their house is even listed. This is called a “pre-listing inspection,” and it has several advantages:
If you discover any material defects to the property in a pre-listing inspection, you are legally required to disclose them to buyers — even if you fix them. Also there’s no guarantee that the buyer’s own inspection won’t reveal things yours didn’t find. The choice to do a pre-listing inspection is yours, but it never hurts to get a head start on repairs.
Be Aware of These Tried-and-True Tactics for Negotiating Repairs:
When it comes to repairs, your agent will haggle with the buyer’s agent for you — though it’s ultimately your decision as to how you want to respond to the buyer’s home repair requests.
Here are four time-tested negotiating techniques that your agent may deploy to protect your best interests — without reducing the sales price:
Home inspection may sound like a burdensome process, especially when you’re so close to your goal. But when you cross it off your list, you’re readier than ever to jump to the next level — and into your life’s newest phase.