One of the most important reasons for having a home inspection of any kind is to discover the true condition of the home through a trained third-party. An independent home inspector gives the buyer the information they need to evaluate potential defects and deferred maintenance on the home they are purchasing before the sale is finalized. While no home is without a few issues (yes, even newly constructed homes), an objective home inspector can surface those issues and give you the facts you need to negotiate with the buyer after the home inspection. Here’s what you need to know about getting the most value out of your home inspection and negotiating after your infrared home inspection.
Include a Contingency in your Contract
In most cases, your realtor will insist that the contract is based on the home inspection contingency. This means that the offered price is contingent on what is found during the home inspection. It gives buyers an ‘out’ if significant issues are discovered during the home inspection. If you are purchasing the home without a realtor, make sure that your offer has the home inspection contingency in it, or you could be facing a big problem down the road.
Know What to Expect from an Infrared Home Inspection
All homes – even newly constructed homes – have issues. If the home is older, depending on how well it has been cared for, it may have lots of issues. The home inspection is your time to learn as much about the property as possible. It helps if you carefully review the seller’s property disclosures beforehand so you know what questions you’d like to ask your inspector. For example, if the seller disclosed some unpermitted work done in the garage years ago, it’s good to know that and spend some extra time in that area.
A home inspector is not a contractor, and cannot fix the issues they find. A home inspector can reveal the property’s condition and the potential costs of each repair but will not make those repairs. Further, a home inspector isn’t a part of the home sale transaction and won’t get in the middle of your deal. Once the inspection is finished, you’ll have a full report – including photos – that demonstrates the condition of the home so you know what you are buying.
Know Your Options if Issues Are Found During the Infrared Home Inspection
You could be very surprised at what an infrared home inspection uncovers that traditional home inspections simply don’t – hidden leaks, missing or soaked insulation, overheating electrical circuits and more. Your home inspection report will have the images of these issues and you can start to make logical decisions about whether you really want to buy the home or not.
If your contract includes an inspection contingency, you have some options after the infrared home inspection:
- You can ask the seller to repair the issues
- You can ask for a price change to compensate you for future repairs
- You can negotiate a hybrid of the two
- You can walk away from a bad deal
If the home you are buying has multiple offers, you may not have any room to negotiate but with your infrared home inspection in hand, you may be better off letting the house go to someone else.
Andrew MacDonald is an experienced and certified infrared home inspector for homes in Elgin, Algonquin, St. Charles, and the surrounding towns for over a decade. When you want to know the condition of your home or a home you are considering buying, call Andrew today and he’ll tell you how he can help.
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