Standard Home Inspections: What Buyers and Sellers Should Know


Buyer Inspections

As a general rule, home inspections are performed at the request of the buyer of a home. A potential buyer is interested in a home and places an offer on it. The seller either accepts the offer or not. The buyer generally has an “option period” of up to 30 days. During this period of time, the home is under contract, which means that the seller is unable to accept any other offers. In addition, the buyer has the chance to investigate the home in a bit more detail. Generally, the buyer will call in a number of experts, such as an appraiser and an inspector.

One of the largest investments that you will ever make is a home, so it is important that you know everything that you can know about the home that you are thinking about buying. You know that saying “knowledge is power,” and it couldn’t be any more true in a situation like this.

Now, when you hire a home inspector, the home inspector’s job isn’t to talk you out of buying the home; instead, his or her job is to simply inspect the job to the best of his or her ability and inform you of everything that is or is not wrong with the home. Essentially, the home inspector is going to inform you of items that are in current need of repair and items that may need repair in the near future so that you can plan accordingly and negotiate the best deal with the seller.

Seller Inspections

In some cases, sellers will get an inspection of their home before placing it up for sale on the market. This can actually be very beneficial, as it will provide you with the upper hand since you will be fully aware of the condition of your home prior to listing it. You won’t be surprised of any costly repairs that your homes needs when you get to the negotiating table. In many cases, you may decide to make some repairs that the home inspector finds before you place your home on the market.

Some Potential Examples (for the Seller)

Say a potential home buyer’s inspection report comes back with simple repairs like a broken seal on a toilet or unsealed windows. If the buyer makes these issues part of the negotiation, there is a good chance that you will need to repair them out of your own pocket—and a licensed professional will be required to do it. Now, if you had gotten a pre-listing inspection, those minor issues could have been fixed ahead of time not to mention they could have been fixed with your own hands or by a friend or family member much more affordably.

Now, let’s say that the home inspection comes back with a major repair—a foundation issue. Prior to listing your home on the market, you have the chance to decide whether to repair the problem before selling or sell the home as-is. Do you fix the foundation and cross your fingers to recoup the costs by marking up the asking price? Or do you list the home for less and simply let the new owner worry about it? In either case, it’s your decision.

Whether as a buyer or a seller, if you need a home inspection performed, contact us at Southern Valley Services.

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