Paperwork Problems: Understanding Home Purchase Forms

« Back to Home

What Are You Buying? Understanding The Timing Of Home Inspections

Posted on

As a buyer, you may already be planning to have a home inspection performed before you close the deal. However, some buyers may wonder why they can't have the inspection done before they make an offer. To find out more, read on.

Know the Facts About a Home Inspection

What you see is not always what you get and some major and expensive issues could be hidden away. Professional home inspectors are accustomed to going places most homeowners and buyers can't see what is lurking underneath, above, and inside the home as they survey things like plumbing, electric, foundations, roofs, and more. When complete, a detailed report covers everything from cracked windows to water in the basement and more.

Home Inspections: Optional

While home inspections are highly recommended, they are not a requirement for buying a home. In some areas, homes are in such high supply that some buyers are willing to buy a home with barely a walk-through. You should also know that a home inspection is considered a condition of the purchase contract. In hot real estate markets, some purchase agreements contain no conditions at all. Home inspections do take time to schedule and perform and can delay the closing. Also, they are invasive to sellers still occupying the property.

When Does the Inspection Take Place?

Some buyers want to know what they are getting into before they make an offer and an inspection is one way to do that. It's not, however, the usual and customary way to do things. One issue is that sellers don't have to agree to an inspection before they've accepted an offer. Another issue is cost. Home inspections can cost several hundreds of dollars and you might only want to do that once during the home-buying process.

The Usual Timeline

In most cases, here is how things work with home inspections and purchase agreements. first, the buyer obtains a preapproval so they know how much they can afford and then they find a home they like. Then, they make an offer and provide a check for a percentage of the offer price as a deposit (earnest money). If the seller agrees to the price and the contingencies, then the buyer schedules a home inspection. If major problems are revealed by the inspection, the buyer can back out of the deal and be refunded their deposit. In many cases, though, the seller may agree to either lower the price or take care of the repairs so the deal goes through.

To learn more about home inspection for things like single-family homes, speak to a real estate agent.