Ahh, due diligence - the time during the contract where you access whether or not you want to move forward with the home you have a binding contract on.
By the dictionary's definition:
reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement, especially in buying or selling something.
a comprehensive appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer, especially to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential.
Some buyers may be inclined to overlook the importance of the home inspection; there is so much else going at that time that it may just seem like another task to check off the list.
However, a professional home inspection is the perfect opportunity to gain insight into the condition of the home – an unbiased evaluation that can provide much-needed peace of mind at a stressful time. This information can prove extremely useful and help avoid unpleasant surprises. It is also important to remember that this is a snapshot in time of the home.
A professional home inspection includes a visual assessment of the home’s systems and structural components, including:
- foundation, walls, chimneys, doors, and windows.
- Appliance systems as well as heating/cooling and plumbing are tested to ensure proper operation.
- This evaluation is then included in the written inspection report, which includes detailed findings and identify any potential concerns. The report will also indicate any recommended repairs based on the inspection results. At that time, an agent may recommend that the seller complete needed repairs, or if not, that the cost of doing the repairs be reflected in the selling price.
However, in many of today’s hot real estate markets the home inspection contingency is waived in order for an offer to be considered at all. In these cases, a home inspection is still extremely important because it allows buyers to learn about the home and provides a comprehensive picture of the home’s condition. Alternatively, a home inspection can be conducted after the sale, providing the buyer with valuable information they can use in planning for future repairs, upgrades, or addressing other issues.
To get the most out of a home inspection, the buyer should accompany the home inspector during the process. This allows the buyer to ask questions on site and get any needed clarification about potential issues that come up along the way. It’s a great way to get to know the home and locate key items such as key shutoff valves, the breaker panel and more. Attending the inspection will also give them a better understanding of any repair recommendations.
If you can't come - it's okay. You will receive an inspection report. Don't freak out - they are all 20 pages and over! With you not being in attendance, that's also why it is so important to have someone that will answer your questions after the inspection.
The home inspection is truly a key part of a smooth transaction and a confident purchase. Not only that, the inspection report will serve as a reference for details about the home once the purchase is complete. They say a little knowledge goes a long way; a lot of knowledge can take you even further. So true!
Thank you to David Del Giorno at Pillar to Post for contributing to this article.