Once you execute the purchase agreement your agent will open escrow (an in-depth info on this process is part of a later article). Now the clock start ticking on all the contingencies.
Most sales include an inspection contingency. It usually needs to happen within the few days of going under contract.
A buyer uses the home inspection for a couple of reasons: mainly, they want to know of any issues with the house that are not visible; and, this information will help them decide if they want to continue with the transaction.
The inspection helps the seller, too. Make sure you get a copy of the report. If the buyer rescinds their offer due to any issues, this will give you an opportunity to fix the problems and you can later show a new potential buyer that everything is resolved. Keep receipts from contractors and take photos of the before and after repairs.
If the inspector finds problems that need to be addressed, the buyer may use this as a way to negotiate a lower price. A good agent will know how to smartly negotiate these conversations.
Many home inspection issues can be easily remedied, and the parties can agree on who will repair and pay for them; however, if something is not up-to-code, the seller usually needs to fix these before closing.
On most occasions it benefits the seller to resolve any inspection issues in a timely matter. It establishes good faith between them and the buyer, and keeps your price at the agreed upon price. Sometimes, sellers choose to skip the work and either lower the price or credit the buyer. This will depend on timeframes and personal preference.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the best way to prepare for a home inspection is to keep up on routine maintenance. Things like the following are always good to do on a schedule, and buyers should make sure to inspect:
- remove grade or mulch from contact with siding
- clean out dirty gutters or debris from roof
- divert all water from the house
- trim trees, roots and bushes away from the foundation, roof, siding, and chimney
- clean or replace HVAC filter
- clean chimney, fireplace, or woodstove and keep a copy of the report for buyer
ASHI (www.ashi.org) recommends sellers ensure the following are in order in preparation for the home inspection. Most of these are inexpensive yet important things to do:
- test all smoke detectors (do this every six months)
- paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, windows, and doors
- test and fix any issues or leaks in all plumbing fixtures
- install GFCI receptacles near any water source
- replace any burned out lightbulbs
- check that bath vents are properly vented
- have clear access to the attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage, and other areas that need to be inspected
- if the house is vacant, make sure all utilities are turned on, including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioning, gas, and breaks in the main panel
Your agent will take care of making the appointment with the inspector, and will be there the entire time the inspector is in the house. They will also handle any questions from the buyer or seller regarding the inspection report.
I hope you found helpful tips in today’s article.