Buying a Home? How to Survive the Home Inspection.

tips for buyers during the home inspection process

You found your dream home, but first it has to pass one ultimate test: The Home Inspection. This is the one part of the process that makes sellers hold their breath, and buyers anxious as hell.

Thinking about Buying a Home? Here is what you need to know about Home Inspections

In the Chicagoland area, the home inspection always comes after you’re under contract. Meaning, yes, you’ve committed to the home. You’ve turned in your earnest money, you’ve decided on a closing date. However, the home inspection can be used as your “out” if things just weren’t as rose-colored as they seemed.

Home Inspection Survival Tips:

You Want to be Present.

As a buyer, you’d consider purchasing a home a pretty big deal, yeah? So it’s important to be there during the home inspection.

Here’s why: the inspector will be looking at all issues pertaining to the home. Some will be big, some will be small, but what will ALWAYS be big is the inspection report, it usually comes back around 40 pages. And you will freak out if that 40 page report has no context to you.

Of course your realtor & attorney can help you navigate everything in the report, but it would make the whole experience so much smoother (and less emotional) if you were physically present to talk through the issues with the home inspector on the spot.

Don’t Expect to be Let Back into the Home after Today.

Reminder: a typical escrow is 30-45 days. A home inspection is within the first 5 days. And during that long window, the sellers do NOT have to let you into the home after the inspection… ahh!

That always makes buyers upset, mostly because they’re excited and anxious about the transaction. Who doesn’t want to show off their new home to their mom when they’re in town??

It’s important to bring family while you have access to the home. So if you want their stamp of approval, they need to make themselves available that day.

buyer guide tips for the home inspection

You Want to Use a Professional Home Inspector.

Yes, a professional home inspector will cost more than your Dad.

But here’s the thing: If you need to ask the seller for repairs, and they know you did not hire a professional, they’re going to throw that right back at you. Sellers are anxious about this, too, and they’re not going to be quick to fix issues without strong evidence that there’s a real issue.

No offense, Dad, but professional inspectors do this every day! You hired a Realtor, you hired an attorney, for that same reason you should hire a professional inspector. Pay the money for peace of mind & negotiation power.

Repair Requests Need to be Reasonable.

Let’s remember that home inspection request items are still very much a negotiation. Sellers do not HAVE to fix anything. But some items are in their best interest to fix, since if you decide to walk, the next buyer is just going to ask for the same thing.

However, no house is perfect, even new construction. The reality of home ownership is that some problems will be your problems when you buy the house.

home inspection do's and don't for buyers

So, with that said, the home inspection is NOT where you ask the sellers to make the house perfect. It’s where you ask the seller to address the issues that you were not expecting:

  1. Defects/Things that Don’t Work
  2. Safety Hazards

If the repair request doesn’t fall into these categories, it’s really unfair to ask the seller for it.

The one I see often is that buyers are told that the furnace is old, but the inspector determined it still appropriately functions. So then the buyers ask the sellers for a new furnace, based on the knowledge that “it’s old.”

Ahhh! Sadly, that’s not how this works and makes Realtors across the world cringe. Sellers do not have to provide everything NEW, they just have to provide WORKING.

Do you have more home inspection questions?

Head to my Facebook Page and message me there so we can continue the conversation!

about the author: Kristi Gorski Top Realtor in Downers Grove

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