What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an inspection of a property that is either for sale or will be for sale soon. The Inspector inspects the physical structure and the mechanical structure of a home and gives you an Inspection Report. While it is not required that you have an inspection done, do not bypass this step. It will cost somewhere in the range of $350 to $500, depending on the size and age of the home. This fee is payable at the time of inspection and worth every penny for the peace of mind it brings.
An examination is done of everything from the roof to the walls and floors, the plumbing and electrical, windows and doors, major appliances, the heating and air conditioning systems. He or she will inspect for water damage, mold, and even how the landscaping is graded around the property. You should receive the final report from your Inspector a day or two after the inspection has been done. It is often about thirty pages long.
This part of the process usually happens soon after you go under contract on a home, and prior to the appraisal inspection. The purpose of an inspection report is to make you aware of the condition of the house you’re buying. The purpose of an appraisal report is to make you aware of the value of the real estate you’re purchasing.
Does Seller have to fix everything on an Inspection Report?
In the State of Colorado, the Seller does not have to repair the items found in an inspection. The items are negotiable, but the Seller has no obligation to negotiate to do the repairs.
The home inspection is not a TO DO list of things you’d like the Seller to take care of before you move in. While the purpose is to tell you whether or not there are defects you can either live with or not, Buyers often make an offer thinking they can renegotiate the contract after the inspection. Do not make this mistake.
If you are asking the Seller for repairs after inspection, you may ask to have repairs done prior to closing, especially items that concern health or safety. The typical options for negotiation are:
- Ask Seller to make important repairs (NOT cosmetic items)
- Ask Seller for credit toward closing costs and you will do work
- Ask Seller for a reduction of purchase price to cover items
- Move forward with no Seller concessions
- Back out of deal and get your earnest money back
If there are things you are concerned about (an older furnace or stove, for example) you can get a Home Owner Warranty that will cover those items in case they break the first thirteen months you own the home. Ask your Realtor about those details.
What if the Appraiser finds things wrong with a property and says they have to be fixed? In that situation, the Seller is obligated to have those items repaired. The Buyer cannot get a loan on the home until the items that are appraisal conditions are taken care of. HOWEVER, the Appraiser is not an inspector, so don’t count on them finding something wrong with the house. It doesn’t happen very often, so negotiate during your inspection period to have the serious items fixed.