Thanks to curb appeal, updated landscaping, and beautiful home staging, it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of choosing a new home. The homes on the market are likely looking as good as they’ve ever looked so it’s up to you, the prospective buyer, to look for the potential problems. If you’re using a qualified realtor, you can rely on their years of experience and guidance to help you through the process.
One of the best tools at your disposal is the use of a home inspector. Once you choose a home, make an offer, and have it accepted by the seller, it’s then considered under contract. At that point, you have the option to have the home inspected. If you’re financing, the bank will require a home inspection to ensure the home is a worthwhile investment. Keep in mind an appraisal is different from an inspection. The appraisal estimates the value of the home, the inspection is a detailed look at the property to help uncover potential pitfalls.
Problems with wiring, plumbing, and structural issues are not necessarily evident during a showing, and usually take an expert eye to find them.
Once the home inspector turns in their report, you should review it with your realtor. Problems that have been uncovered, such as roof problems, outdated wiring, or plumbing issues that need to be addressed, should be a negotiating tool. Since you’ll inherit these issues if you buy the home, it’s wise to have the problems corrected at this point. You can either ask for a reduction in price from the seller, or require them to make repairs. The seller has the option to refuse or negotiate but solid facts from a home inspection are difficult to refute; it gives buyers extra negotiating power throughout the process.
In the end, a home inspection helps the buyer know exactly what condition the home is in before they buy it. Since this is a major investment, it’s important to look into it carefully. The more you know, the fewer surprises there will be down the road. Through it all, your realtor is your guide to help you through each step of the process. They are an invaluable resource for making a wise decision.