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What Happens in the Home Inspection Process?

One of the key components to the closing process comes when your intended property goes through a home inspection. Why should you request a home inspection? Often times, the completion of your sale is contingent on an inspector’s findings – if they find some major damage, structural or functional issues that could be incredibly costly down the road, it could change your mind on moving forward with the sale. Alternately, home inspection reports could accurately detail exactly how much it’s going to cost you if you decide you want to move forward and take care of the issues the inspector found.

How inspection works is actually quite simple. Typically, a house inspection will cost $300 to $500, but that also depends on how big your intended property is, and where it’s located. You may think this could be a cost that you could avoid – after all, you’re spending so much already, and you’re eager to cut some corners. This is one area where corner-cutting could adversely affect you later on. An inspector helps give you a complete picture of the home you’re buying – and it can help you address issues before they become major problems.

It’s up to you who you want to use for your home inspection, but it’s recommended you ask for referrals from your real estate team. From there, do exactly what you did when you were considering your mortgage options – shop around. Talk with each of them, ask questions about their process and how thoroughly they work, read their online reviews (where applicable), and make sure you’re comfortable with the inspector you’ve chosen to work with. You can also ask to see work they’ve done with previous clients to get a feel for the kind of work they do.

It’s wise to be on-site at your new property while it’s being inspected, as your inspector can clearly show you any issues that may arise during their inspection.  Prior to their arrival, you may want to look for anything you might want your inspector to look over – think of things that may look like problem areas to you, or things that you have concerns about like bathroom or basement issues, looking at the appliances to make sure they’re in perfect working order, and addressing the pipes. You can also ask the sellers to disclose anything they’ve had issue with, and see if there are any issues that are common with houses in the neighborhood.

Another way your inspector can be helpful is in giving you insight on how to take care of certain areas of your home and property that may need a little more maintenance and TLC. They may also have some helpful hints on how to maintain other aspects of your home, such as sharing info on how long it will be before you need to replace your appliances, or small repairs you can take care of when you move in.

But what if your inspector finds a big issue as they’re searching through your house? This is when you should talk with your real estate professional to decide how – or if – you should move forward. Your decision could range from asking the sellers to deal with the issue before the transfer of property, or you may completely back out of the deal. You’ll know soon enough if it’s an issue that can be negotiated, or if it spells the end of your deal… and if it’s the latter, consider it a blessing in disguise as you move forward with a new space.

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