When you are selling your house the news that an offer has been made is music to your ears. However, accepted offers do not always translate to closed deals. The majority of offers made include contingencies, with one of the most common contingencies being a home inspection.
Understanding the ins and outs of a home inspection can help you as the seller get your house to closing.
The majority of homes will have a home inspection before making it to closing, but not every house. If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage the lender will oftentimes require a home inspection before loaning the money. However, if the buyer will be paying cash they have the option of foregoing the inspection.
Another factor that determines if a home inspection will be part of the offer you receive on your house is what the buyer’s plans are for the house. If they plan on tearing the house down they aren’t going to care about the condition of the house.
But, if they are planning on moving in, even if they are purchasing it as a fixer upper, they will most likely want to know what they are getting themselves into.
A home inspector is going to look at everything in the house. It is their responsibility to spot problems and potential problems to educate the buyer about them. They are going to check the roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical, and HVAC systems. Inspectors will inspect every part of your home that they have access to, including basements, crawlspaces, and attics.
If you are concerned about what a home inspection could turn up on your property you might want to have a pre-sale inspection completed. Hire an inspector to come out to your house before there is even a buyer interested. This gives you a head start on any problems that could arise once you have an interested buyer.
Before an inspector comes out to your house make sure to provide them easy access to all areas of your house. Keep doors unlocked and if access to your attic is through a panel on your wall make sure to remove any screws prior to the inspector arriving.
You will also want to gather up any of the paperwork that you have as proof of work that you had completed. It is good to have easy access to this if questions arise.
You do not need to stay at the house while the inspection is being completed. In fact, it is easier for you and the inspector for you to leave the house. Many times the buyers and/or their agent will be on site to ask questions throughout the process.
If the offer was contingent on the inspection and it turns up any problems or concerns your buyer will have a few options. They can proceed with the offer, walk away from the house, or renegotiate the terms of the offer by either lowering their price or asking you to make repairs.
Being prepared with a pre-sale home inspection is the best way to catch problems before they arise. However, all inspectors are different and will spot different things.
If the buyer’s inspection turns up things that you do not agree with you can always offer to pay for a second inspection with an inspector of the buyers choice, but they don’t have to agree.
Be prepared for the inspection and remember that no offer is final until you are handing over the keys.