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4 Home Inspection Survival Tips for Buyers

If you’ve made an offer to purchase a home and it’s been accepted, it’s very likely the next step will be one that makes some people pretty nervous: the home inspection.

It’s nerve-wracking to know that this perfect, special home you’ve fallen in love with will go under the microscope. You’ll get a report that tells you everything that’s wrong with your perfect, special home. You know that, in some cases, sales fall through because of home inspections.

However, home inspections are everyday occasions in real estate. In fact, it’s the second-most widely used contingency clause – just behind financing – in all home purchase contracts. So while you might have that special house under contract, home inspections aren’t all that special at all. It’s also important to remember that home inspections, while sometimes uncomfortable, actually do protect the buyer.

It’s a little like going to the doctor — not exactly fun, but necessary to make sure you’re healthy and can have peace of mind.

 

If knowing that isn’t comforting enough, here are four tips for buyers that might make the home-inspection process a little less daunting:

 

Go with the right inspector

Buyers pay for home inspections, which doesn’t sound great. Since the buyer pays, the buyer chooses the inspector. Your agent might recommend one, which is helpful, but you still might want to poke around online and find reviews. Also, remember that the typical home inspection costs between $300 and $500, so if you get a quote for, say, $150, it would be fair to question someone’s qualifications.

 

Know the deal-breakers

Every home inspector is going to find something wrong with even the most seemingly perfect home. It’s the inspector’s job, and the reality is that no home is truly perfect. Some things are bigger deals (actually deal-breakers) than others. You might want to discuss with you agent if you should walk away if there are problems with:

  • The foundation
  • Water in the basement
  • Mold
  • Outdated or not up-to-code wiring
  • Excessive Termite Damage

These maybe major problems, not minor ones. Unless you’re able to negotiate a substantially discounted purchase price, you might want to avoid these costly headaches.

 

Know the keepers

On the more cheery side of things, buyers can often get seller concessions for minor things that they didn’t recognize at the time of the offer. For example, did you go onto the roof when looking at the home? If not, your inspector’s determination on the shingle life might save you some money from the seller, even if you don’t have to replace a roof for a while. Remember that even minor things are likely to be taken care of by the seller before close.

 

Don’t make it a battle

Remember that the home inspection is nerve-wracking for the seller, too. They might hate even more to hear that there are blemishes on their perfect home – especially if they’ve already spent money on work before selling. It helps to see where they’re coming from so that, should a home inspection not go so well, items on the inspection report can be negotiated without animosity. Unless there are major deal-breakers (mentioned above) there can usually be a solution that’s a win-win for both buyer and seller. It helps when things remain amicable.

Home inspections can be scary for buyers, who fear that they might have to walk away from a great home or assume some repair costs they didn’t anticipate. These are legitimate concerns. But if you approach the home inspection the right way, armed with some knowledge ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be as scary.

 

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