After your offer for your dream home is accepted, it’s time for the home inspection. Your or your realtor will schedule an appointment for a certified home inspector to visit the home. The inspection is an important part of the process, because the seller definitely doesn’t want any bad surprises after making this purchase. So, here’s some thoughts to make this inspection process a smooth part of your home buying experience.

Hiring the Right Certified Home Inspector

Here’s the deal, the home inspector HAS to find something wrong with the house, just to prove they actually showed up. And, even the best houses have something that needs to be fixed. You want a certified home inspector who is knowledgeable about homes, but you also want a home inspector with good common sense. This person should provide you with a list of repairs that are essential, as well as a list of items that will require ongoing maintenance. It’s important that they not to mix up these items in their narrative. When a home inspector comes across as an alarmist, just to prove how much they know, they aren’t serving the buyer or the seller of the house well.

What Needs Attention Prior to the Sale

Once you have those lists from the inspection, you will first decide if there’s any surprises on that list that you can’t live it. If so, it may require you to cancel the purchase contract of the home. Secondly, you need to decide if there’s any repairs you need to negotiate with the owner, but remember to be fair and reasonable. Don’t nickle and dime the seller to death. It’s best to stick to those substantial areas, like structural issues, HVAC, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and extreme health and safety issues. The inspection is a time to discover any of these major issues. It is not an opportunity to upgrade the home at the seller’s cost.

Who Does the Repairs

Negotiated repairs can be negotiated in multiple ways. The buyer can simply negotiate a lower price, so they can do the repairs when they are ready. The seller may offer to have the repairs done prior to closing. Or, the seller can allow money in escrow at the closing for these repairs. The buyer then simply hires a contractor to complete the repairs and a check is written out of escrow to pay them the amount allowed for that repair. Any difference in price is due from the buyer. This is probably the best option, because the buyer hires contractors they trust to complete the work.

Just remember, the goal of the home inspection is just to eliminate bad surprises for the new home owner. Hopefully, your inspection will show minor issues, or doable repairs with one of the closing steps above. Buyers and sellers both want a smooth transfer of this house!