Are you a first-time homebuyer searching for the perfect home? If so, you may have some questions around the home inspection, such as what is actually involved in a home inspection? When does the home inspection take place? Does it happen before or after the purchase agreement is signed? Is there a way to back out if the inspector finds a serious problem? Read on to learn about a typical purchase and inspection process.
What is involved in a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective examination of the structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation, made by a professional home inspector. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating, air conditioning (if there is central air), plumbing, and electrical systems; roof; attic and visible insulation. If there is a well, you will want to have the water tested. A sewer line or septic inspection is generally recommended as well as testing for radon in the air. The inspection will also cover the condition of the walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, the foundation, basement and structural components. Being present at the home inspection is a good time for you, as the buyer, to ask questions about the home including how to maintain your purchase.
When does the home inspection take place?
The home inspection typically takes place shortly after the seller accepts the buyer’s offer. Once the purchase agreement has been signed by both parties, the house is considered under contract. Generally, the buyer will have 10-14 business days in which to have the inspection and to negotiate with the seller about any issues that come up as a result of the inspection. Typical remedies are to ask the seller to correct the issues or request a price reduction based on estimates to repair any issues.
Is there a way to back out if the inspector finds a serious problem?
Yes (isn’t that a relief?) We always recommend a home inspection contingency in any purchase offer. If the inspector finds a serious issue, a buyer can terminate the contract within the building inspection period.
These points on home inspection are true for standard real estate transactions, but what about purchasing a distressed or foreclosure property? If you are buying a foreclosure home that is owned by a bank, you can generally have an inspection and can terminate the contract if you are not satisfied with the results. The bank may or may not be willing to negotiate with you, however, on any issues that the inspector discovers. Homes that are sold at a real estate auction are sold as is. As always, it’s best to navigate the process with the help of a real estate agent who is familiar with the process.
Portland Maine Living can provide necessary tools and advice to navigate these sometimes-complicated real estate transactions, as well as standard transactions. We’d love to chat about finding your perfect home, so contact us today!