You’ve just signed a contract on your dream home – congratulations! As exciting as it can be to officially go under contract, put down the champagne and pick up the phone because the first 14 days after attorney review has ended is your home inspection period and it is possibly the most important part of the real estate buying process. Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
- The 14-day time frame is to carry out and present your requests to the seller. This means you need to schedule any inspections with enough time to allow for the report to be completed and reviewed before sending to sellers.
- There are three main inspections that are carried out in almost every transaction: wood destroying insect, radon, and the general home inspection; however, some buyers choose to order additional inspections depending on their own personal concerns or the property type. As a buyer you have the right to order any inspections on the property you would like within the home inspection period but it is also your responsibility to order inspections. If you decide not to order an inspection you are waiving a number of rights and should be aware of the consequences.
- You are responsible for the costs of your inspections. These inspections and reports are for your use and information, so you are responsible to pay for them. You should also not expect any kind of refund from the seller if you decide, based on your inspections, not to move forward. $450.00 spent on a house you do not buy may seem like a lot but if the report provided you with information which saved you from the purchase $400,000.00 house you were no longer interested in buying, it was probably money well spent.
- There are limits to what you can ask for! When making your repair requests, be aware there are things you can ask for under the contract, but other changes like cosmetic changes or any upgrades are not required to be made by seller.
- Sellers can offer you a credit instead of making the repairs themselves. If there is a tight closing or if a seller is elderly or unable to hire a contractor, sellers will often offer a credit. It is up to you if you want to accept, but sometimes taking care of the work post-closing can give buyers more control over their soon to be home, so it may be worth considering.
One final thought when thinking about your home inspection period: speak now, or forever hold your peace! The purpose of the home inspection period is to reveal any final issues before closing. If you are uncomfortable with any results or want any further inspections you need to If you wait and try and bring up any issues later, the contract doesn’t protect you in the same way. Reach out to us here at Bergmann Law and we can help you through the process so when you finally do toast to your new home, you can be confident with your purchase.
Thank you for explaining that you will be paying for the inspector as a buyer to use when negotiating. My cousin is buying a house and loves it, but she knows that it needs some work so she’s been talking about hiring an inspector to help her figure out where they should focus on making repairs. I’ll be sure to pass this information on to her to see if she can make some negotiations with the seller for a better deal.