The inspection process is not as daunting as it may first appear to homebuyers. To be totally honest, I showed up to my personal home inspection several years ago and never fully understood what was actually taking place. I thought that it was going to be over my head. However, it is virtually a pain-free process, that your Realtor will guide you seamlessly through. Actually, you as a home buyer should know up front, that inspectors are on “your” side. Their job is to inspect and utilize their professional opinion to evaluate your home. So go ahead and fall in love with this process! (Well obviously I am being cliche and had to tie in the Inspection Process with Valentine’s Day).
Once you have your property in escrow and under contract, it is time to hire professionals to inspect different aspects of your home. I always recommend hiring 3 inspectors to inspect the house. A WDI (Wood Destroying Insect), HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) and the General Inspector. These venders are all masters of their trade and often conduct upwards of 12 inspections a day during the busy season. So trust me when I say they know what they are doing. You as the homebuyer may already have a working relationship with one or all of these types of professional inspectors. If not, then you should ask your Realtor for recommendations for commonly used vendors in your area.
First of all, lets cover the “why?” For several reasons, you should get your new home inspected; however, each scenario is different. If the home is new construction, I recommend getting only a general inspection. I honestly do not think there is any need for you as a buyer to hire the additional two inspectors. All slabs in Texas are pre-treated for termites; therefore, no need to get a WDI inspection. Therefore a general inspection should suffice.
Clients often will ask why should they get any inspection at all since the house is “brand new.” I mean, it passed city inspections, right? Yes, however I always reply with a previous scenario I encountered and still encounter today. I have sold new builds where the smoke detectors were not connected. This happened because the electrician went in after another contractor had already worked on the sheetrock. At that point, it was a situation of “not my job,” so the smoke detectors were never hooked up. So it’s a wise choice to hire a general inspector to ensure that everything is working and functioning properly in the home.
Additionally, you should get inspections done on your home because, well, you may have to. Inspections may be a lender requirement. Lenders can require certain inspections to be done before they complete your loan. Depending on what type of loan you are getting in order to purchase your house, you will be required to get a WDI Inspection before you can obtain loan approval. For example, if you are getting a VA (Veterans Administration) Loan, you will be required to obtain a WDI inspection. A WDI inspection is not required if you go with a Conventional Loan and of course, if it is a cash purchase, then you are not required to get any inspections at all; however, I don’t recommend this route. From the outside, a home can look perfect. But I do not have the knowledge or expertise like a home inspector. The house could be infested with termites or the HVAC could have a leak in the evaporator coil, and I as a general consumer, would never know without having a professional inspect my home. My job as a realtor is to always have your (buyer) best interest in mind. And it is in your best interest to have a professional inspect your home.
So what happens during the actual inspection process? I (Buyer’s Agent) arrange the inspections to be done within my client’s option period. The inspectors will check out the house from top to bottom and come back to me with their findings. Now, do not be scared when you first look at the report from the general inspector. I always tell my clients that there will be on average about 22 deficiencies in their report. That does not mean that the house is about to fall down! Keep in mind that it is their job to find things “wrong” with your home. Your realtor as well as the inspector will review the reports with the buyer and answer any and all questions the buyer has. At this point, the buyer’s agent and their clients will come to a mutual agreement and either ask for repairs, money in lieu of repairs or no repairs at all. Then the buying agent and list agent will negotiate back and forth until all parties involved come to a unanimous conclusion. At this stage, the inspection process is now over and we move forward to closing.
The inspection process is actually an event that occurs pretty early and quick into the home buying process. Relay on guidance from your realtor during this time. They have attended numerous inspections and have a pretty great grasp on common repairs and costly repairs. Buying a home is supposed to be one of the biggest, most exciting events to occur to anyone. So try to relax, ask lots of questions, and have faith in your professional inspectors and realtor! Go ahead, fall in love with the process!
Cheers! Happiness! Laughter!
Melissa Novosad, Realtor
The Lester Group
Keller Williams Brazos Valley