Buying a house is an overwhelming process, especially if you have never been through it before. Searching for houses for sale, visiting houses, putting in an offer, home inspections, negotiations, it all seems endless. Many first time home buyers hope that when the process has reached a home inspection, that they are home free. This can be true, but home buyers should know that more rounds of negotiations could occur and it’s important to know that you can walk away if the deal isn’t turning out as expected. If you’re looking to buy a house and need a realtor, contact Realty Resources for experienced and reliable real estate agents.
Inspections Are Optional
Generally, inspections are a good idea. It will give you an opportunity to learn from a professional what condition the house is in before you sign on the dotted line. However, they aren’t a requirement for buying the house. The home buyer can choose which inspections should be done, if any! Keep in mind though, that skipping this step can be risky and could leave you with unknown problems that will cost you more money down the road. Also, it might be a condition of the bank that an inspection is done.
The Buyer is Responsible
The homebuyer is the responsible party when it comes to hiring, paying, and scheduling an inspector. This also needs to be done before closing, so plan ahead and be sure to have enough time for a thorough inspection. When creating a budget, include this in the cost as well. For townhomes or smaller single family houses, the cost will be lower, but for larger houses over 2,000 square feet, the cost could be over $400.
What Does it Cover?
Every property for sale is different and will require varying inspection services; however, it is recommended that a qualified inspector look over these areas:
- Foundation, basement, and other structural factors
- Interior plumbing
- Interior electrical
- Heating and cooling
- Doors and door frames, floors, walls, and ceilings
- Attic and visible insulation
What Doesn’t it Cover?
An inspection will typically look at things that are attached to the home and not everything will be included unless otherwise asked for. If something is not looked at, it might need to be done by another professional. Things that are covered by a standard inspection are:
- Inside the walls
- Roof or chimney repair
- Septic tanks
- Wells or sheds
Repairs Are Negotiable
When necessary repairs are found during an inspection, there are several options regarding who is responsible for fixes. There are typically three outcomes:
- The seller can make the repairs before closing
- The seller can credit you money or lower the cost of the house to account for repair costs
- They can become the buyer’s responsibility
When coming to a seller with repair requests, prioritize the list to problems that are bigger and more expensive. If there is a room that is painted a displeasing color, you could leave that one off the list. At times, the house for sale will be listed “as is” which means that if anything is wrong with the home, there will be no negotiations on making repairs. If any repairs are completed, be sure to keep all related paperwork.
You Can Walk Away
If the foundation needs major repairs or negotiations keep going back and forth without an end in sight, don’t be afraid to walk away. Homebuyers tend to have an advantage in this situation as the seller will want to sell the property quickly. After agreeing and signing off on inspection negotiations, it becomes more challenging to turn back, so be sure that you are comfortable with the details.
Whether you’re looking for a townhome, condo, or single family home in St. Petersburg, the inspection is a significant part of the entire buying a house process. Work with a knowledge realtor and contact Realty Resources today.