The home inspection process can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s an overview of the process, along with some helpful advice to get you started. While we hope you’ll find this email to be a valuable resource, the most important thing to remember is that when you work with us, our Glass House team will work closely with you, and advocate for you, throughout the entire inspection contingency.
UNDERSTANDING THE Home Inspection Process
Purpose of a home inspection
The purpose of a home inspection is to learn more about the home and to look for hidden latent defects not visible in a walk through. You should not view the inspection as a path to transform an existing home into a brand new home; it is to ensure your home is safe and to identify defects and large maintenance items in need of repair.
This is the time in the process to request repairs, ask for a credit, or void a contract with no penalty if the defects are too insurmountable and both parties can’t come to an agreement regarding the repairs or credits.
The home inspection and the written request for repairs, credits, or notice to void the contract must be submitted prior to the end of the home inspection contingency.
Items commonly inspected
An inspector will inspect structure, physical components (such as the roof, windows, and doors) and major systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical).
Here is the typical process
- Get a home inspector referral as soon as possible; we recommend these companies but you are free to choose whomever you like.
- Good home inspectors are busy; it’s important to book one quickly.
- Inspections generally range from one to four hours depending on the inspection and size of the home. Buyers and their agent typically attend the home inspection.
- Make sure the home inspection report is available prior to the home inspection contingency due date.
- You and your agent will review the home inspection report. You will work together to prioritize concerns, discuss negotiating strategy, and prepare a list of requested repairs and/or a credit amount and create a "Home Inspection Contingency Removal Addendum. See sample.
- This is a negotiation. The seller may agree to make the repair(s) or issue a credit. The seller may also elect to make some, or no, repairs. There will be a negotiation, between the buyer and seller, regarding these requests that will take place for a specified period of time as agreed to in the sales contract.
- Once the buyer and seller agree, the inspection contingency of the contract can be removed by executing a home inspection addendum to the contract.
- If the seller elects to make some or all of the requested repairs, the buyer will have the opportunity to confirm the corrective work before closing. Sellers are generally required to provide, to the buyers, receipts and invoices, from companies licensed to do the type of work requested, for the repairs.
- If the buyer and seller don’t reach an agreement, the buyer has the option of voiding the contract prior to the specified deadline as agreed to in the sales contract.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Home Inspection Process
Q. Can I make sellers correct the identified deficiencies? Or give me a credit?
A. This is a negotiation. A buyer can ask for any repair. The seller can agree to make or not make the repair(s) or offer a credit which effectively reduces the cost of the home. The seller can also make no repairs and offer no credit.
Q. What kind of things should I expect repaired, or credited in lieu of repair?
A. Generally if something is broken or defective, safety related, or not working efficiently/properly the buyer and their agent should seek a remedy. A few examples include:
- Smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon systems (if radon fails inspection)
- Broken appliances
- Leaks of any kind
- Electrical faults, hot panels, and incorrect wiring
- Broken or missing door and window locks
- Faulty garage door sensors
Q. What if something is old or near the end of its life?
A. Simply being old is not justification for a credit or repair. It is not uncommon for older systems (HVAC, Roof, etc) to be in perfectly normal working order. However, if there is evidence of defects, inefficiencies, or ongoing repairs it is reasonable to seek a cure. A few examples include:
- Rust inside of an HVAC system
- Active or recent roof leaks
- Windows that won’t open and close
- Appliances with broken components
Q. Will my inspector catch everything?
A. Even the best inspectors can’t inspect what they can’t see. The best advice we can offer is to hire a trusted inspector.
Q. What if my inspector suggests further inspection?
A. A home inspector is like a detective; they systematically inspect a home for explicit defects. During the process they may see signs of possible issues for which they are unable to conclusively determine if there is a defect or not. Should this happen, the inspector may suggest an additional, specific inspection. One example where this often happens is with chimneys.
During a routine home inspection, the technician will look at the most accessible parts of the chimney including the overall structure, fireplace, and damper. However, they simply can’t see the entire interior without specialized equipment. It is common practice for the home inspector to recommend a Level 2 chimney inspection which uses video to inspect the internal area of the chimney not visible otherwise.
Q. How do I determine the cost of a repair (or the value of a credit)?
A. We will work closely with you to estimate the cost/value of repairs. For specialized or less common repairs, we will suggest asking an expert within that particular field for an estimate.
Q. Can I cancel?
A. We generally recommend to buyers that we should first seek a remedy to home inspection. On occasion, that isn’t possible. Ultimately, the buyer has the option of voiding the contract prior to the specified deadline as agreed to in the sales contract and would be owed their Earnest Money Deposit.
Questions about working with Glass House to buy your home? Schedule a free call to discuss your buying needs.
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