In the world of real estate, home inspections can often be uncomfortable for both buyers and sellers. Buyers might fear that the seller could feel that they are doubting his honesty and walk away from the deal. Sellers, on the other hand, often fear that the buyer would come up with unreasonable demands that will be too costly to meet.
Apart from the fact that home inspections are often legally required, it is also a given that such an inspection is probably the only way to really set the buyer’s mind at ease. In fact, according to the ASHI (the American Society Of Home Inspectors), 90% of homeowners feel that a home inspection is a necessity.
Below are a few tips on how to make a home inspection less stressful for both buyers and
Home inspection tips for nervous homebuyers
1. Get a qualified home inspector. The agent should be able to provide the names of at least
three good home inspectors who work in the area. The buyer has the right to ask about their
experience and qualifications, and then to choose one that is experienced, well qualified, and has a good reputation.
2. Write the inspection into the contract. It’s not good enough to just have a verbal
agreement with the seller that a successful home inspection is necessary before the deal can go through. The buyer should make sure it’s written into the purchase agreement in the form of a contingency clause. Give the seller a certain amount of time after the contract has been signed to have this carried out. If the home inspector finds something wrong that will be very expensive to fix, the buyer can walk away from the deal and so can the seller.
3. Be present during the home inspection. The buyer should preferably be present during the home inspection. It’s a great opportunity to ask the home inspector as many questions as you want, particularly about things that concern him or her. It also gives the buyer a chance to look out for signs of water leaks, problems with the electrical system, pest infestations, safety issues, major structural issues, and anything that is broken or needs replacement.
4. Be realistic when you get the report. As the buyer, you have a couple of options after
you’ve received the home inspection report. You can either ask for an additional specialty
inspection, insist on repairs, ask the seller for credit, or decide it’s not serious enough and let it go. If the inspector, for example, finds structural problems with the roof, an additional inspection might be your only option. Otherwise, the seller can be asked to repair or replace whatever is wrong. An alternative is that the seller might offer to reduce the selling price of the home. If the issue is something small, like e.g. peeling wallpaper, it might be a good idea to accept the situation or ask the seller for a small credit.
Home inspection tips for equally nervous sellers
1. Make sure the house is clean and ready for an inspection. Get rid of all clutter and make
sure the inspector has easy access to everything he or she must inspect.
2. Fix or replace things that are not working. Even a light bulb that’s not working can raise
questions about the soundness of the electrical wiring. And a small water leak can cause
unnecessary doubts in the minds of both the inspector and the buyer about the plumbing
system. Wherever possible, have these fixed before the time.
3. Empty all appliances. Make sure appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, dryers, and
washing machines are empty. and ready for the inspector to test them.
4. If there’s an attic, make sure it’s easily accessible. A home inspector is as much a human
as anyone else. Don’t put them in a foul mood by losing the attic’s key the day before the
inspection. Or by not having a ladder available if he or she wants to access the attic.
5. Have documentation of recent repairs ready. Keep a file with documentation of recent
repairs and hand it to the inspector on arrival. This is relevant to the home inspection.
6. Don’t try to hide flaws. It is very important for the seller to disclose any material flaws that
he or she is aware of. If the roof leaks, tell the home inspector. Hiding things like that will only come back to haunt you later.
7. Be prepared to negotiate. You might think that the home you’ve been living in the past 20
years is perfect in all respects. The home inspector or the buyer might not agree. Be realistic
and be prepared to negotiate.
When you are ready, we at Diamond Property Inspections can help you whether you are buying, or selling. Schedule your Property Inspection with us today.