YAY! Things are really starting to come together and your offer was finally accepted, but what now?
Now, it is time to schedule your private home inspection. Per your Purchase Agreement (PA), you will have a time frame within which you must complete your home inspection. Refer to your PA to see how long you have, but the sooner you schedule it the better.
To find a good home inspector you can turn to family and friends again to see who they have used, or you can rely on your agent, who can probably recommend a few great inspectors they have worked with in the past. Some buyers try to shop around for inspectors, which is fine, but you don’t know exactly what you will get, so I would recommend working on a referral from someone you know and trust. You may even be able to get a little discount from the inspection company if you are a referral or if your agent knows when an inspection company offers discounts.
One question a lot of buyers have is, “Should we be there for the inspection?” The short answer is: YES! The inspector will be able to walk through the home with you and point out what he or she notices about the home, discuss potential problems and solutions, or answer any questions you may have. A good inspector will always take the time to make sure that you are comfortable with the information that is in the inspection report, and explain everything so you know exactly what you are buying.
Hopefully your inspection goes smoothly and you want to continue with the purchase of the home. If this is the case, then you will want to fill out a contingency removal and send it to the seller to notify them that you are satisfied with the inspection results and would like to continue with the purchase. If, however, there are some issues that you believe the seller should address, then you may have the option of requesting that the seller fix something or discount the purchase price to make up for any repairs that you may have to make when you close on the house. Your ability to ask for repairs or discounts all depends on whether or not the sale is “as is.” Finally, in the worst scenario, you discover a major issue that puts you off from the house, in which case you have the option of canceling the purchase contract, and restarting your search for a new home.
Remember, the inspection is for your knowledge. In my experience, very few houses pass inspection with an absolutely clean report, so don’t sweat it if the house you want to buy doesn’t either. You just have to ask yourself if a problem with the house is something you can live/work with or not; knowing that when you purchase the home you will be able to make all of the changes, little repairs, or touch-ups you want when the house is yours.