Home Inspections. What to Expect.
You're buying a house, and your offer has been accepted. In your contract you and your Buyer's agent have noted an inspection contingency, giving you the opportunity to have inspections of the home prior to closing, within the first couple of weeks after the offer being accepted. Now it's time to schedule the inspections. While the thought of inspection-time can send some buyers into full-fledged panic, here's some key things to think about during the inspection process to keep emotions level and expectations realistic during the inspection contingency timeframe.
Scheduling the inspections, if done properly, can ensure that your (and your Buyer's agent's) schedules are met appropriately. When scheduling inspections, set up to 3 different, convenient times with your agent first, when the two of you are available. Double check with the seller's agent to also confirm that those times would work for the seller. From there, call three recommended home inspectors to inquire about their availability at the times that you and your agent have carved out. From there, if applicable, contact septic inspection companies and cross reference their availability at the home inspector's availability. Choose those inspectors (who have already come recommended) based on their availability to meet your desired schedule. While it may seem like a lot of leg work up front, scheduling inspections at times that work for everyone saves lots of time (and aggravation) later on. (Especially if you are planning on having multiple inspections done, and are able to have them all completed on the same day). In addition, holding an inspection at a convenient time for you also reduces the anxiety you may be feeling heading into the inspection because it gives you an element of control over the process.
The day of the inspection is the day to learn about all of the inner workings of your new home. It is your Inpector's job to inform you, and educate you, on the details of your home that may require immediate attention, and things that may need upgrading in the coming months and years that have some flexibility to go on the "honey-do list". Not every inspection item will require the same amount of urgency as another. Those items that might need faster attention would be system-related items (think roof, septic, some heating, some plumbing, some electrical, etc.) Many inspectors may even go in to such detail as to note that the front doorbell isn't working, for instance, and something like that may not need a fix as urgently. Unless your home is brand new construction, and even then sometimes, there may be items on the inspection that the inspector notes. This is to be expected as normal wear and tear on a home. Just because it's noted on the inspection, does not mean that it should be a "deal breaker" or be demanded to be fixed by the seller. Your inspector will note everything that he sees as it relates to the condition of the house, allowing you the opportunity to be extremely well informed about your home purchase.
After all the inspections have been completed, you will have an opportunity to review and discuss with your Buyer's agent next steps. In some cases a buyer will request repairs from the seller or monetary compensation at closing, for a repair. Sometimes the Buyer and their agent have negotiated an extremely competitive sales price, and requesting repairs for relatively minor inspection items is decided isn't necessary. How the buyer and their Buyer's agent decide to proceed after receiving the results of an inspection can be as varied as the number of buyers out there. Every situation is unique.
Inspection time when purchasing a home is a Buyer's opportunity to become throroughly educated on what it is they are actually purchasing prior to getting to the closing table. Having this third-party information ensures that you are well-informed in your purchase, preparing you for ownership for year to come. Heading into inspections being proactive about scheduling inspections, recognizing that every item noted on the inspection isn't a "deal breaker", and knowing that inspections items can be negotiated, reduces the anxiety, and increases the enjoyment, of the process.