Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a large financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re buying. A home inspection is a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run. However, some buyers make mistakes during the inspection process that cost them time and money and lead to unnecessary stress. Avoid these eight common buyer blunders to minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give yourself peace of mind and confidence in your new home purchase.
Steer Clear of These 8 Inspection Mistakes Buyers Make
MISTAKE 1: Skip Your Own Inspection
Conduct your own visual assessment, even before you put in an offer. Are there visual signs of water damage? Cupping or cracking roof shingles? Is the home well maintained? Consider the overall condition of the property BEFORE you submit an offer, and factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make.
MISTAKE 2: Hire the Cheapest Inspector
Before you hire an inspector, do some research. Contact at least two or three to compare not only price, but also levels of experience and service. Ask around for recommendations. Verify their certifications and credentials. Find out what is (and what isn’t) covered in the inspection and if they utilize the latest technology. Ask to see a sample report.
MISTAKE 3: Miss Attending the Inspection
Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. This is a great opportunity to shadow the inspector (without getting in his/her way), ask questions, and gather knowledge about your new home.
MISTAKE 4: Skim Over the Report
When you receive the inspection report on your property, read it over carefully so you don’t miss anything important. Now is the time to address your areas of concern. You have a limited window of time to request repairs and/or negotiate the selling price.
MISTAKE 5: Avoid Asking Questions
Some buyers are too embarrassed to ask questions when there’s something they don’t understand. But remember, the inspector is working for you. Speak up now or risk regretting it later.
MISTAKE 6: Expect a Perfect Report
No house is perfect. And with around 1600 items on an inspector’s checklist, don’t be surprised if yours uncovers a large number of deficiencies.
The key is to ask questions so you can separate the minor repairs from the major ones.
MISTAKE 7: Forego Additional Testing
Sometimes your inspector will recommend hiring a specialist (e.g. electrician or structural engineer) to evaluate a potential issue. While it may be tempting to avoid the extra expense, doing so could cost you a fortune in future repairs.
MISTAKE 8: Skip Re-inspection of Repairs
It’s always wise to have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector, even if there’s an additional charge. Some sellers will try to save money by cutting corners or doing the work themselves. Ensure repairs are done correctly now so you aren’t paying to redo them later.
Sources: 1. Family Handyman 2. HGTV 3. Realtor.com 4. Realty Times 5. Realtor.com
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