Despite the importance of property condition and appraisal, eager buyers are often tempted to rush the home inspection process. This can be a very expensive mistake if you purchase a property without checking for concealed damage, dangerous features, or pest infestations. Arranging a professional home inspection will not only uncover these issues — it can help you get a better deal for purchasing the property.
You Can Identify Pre-Existing Issues
If you’re interested in getting a good deal on a property purchase, you need to know as much about the house as possible. If home inspectors notice signs of non-conventional property damage, you’ll need to request a specialist inspection to determine the extent and cost of repair options.
Inspectors will note any signs of peeling or discolored paint. If you’re purchasing an older home, don’t forget to have the property tested for the presence of lead-based paint. If lead-based paint is discovered, it needs to be removed by a lead abatement contractor.
Exposed, outdated, or recalled electrical systems should be removed by a certified electrician. Inspectors will also check that the property’s junction box is compliant with state regulations.
If the fireplace and chimney are a functional unit, inspectors will examine the flue lining, brickwork quality, and cement sealant for signs of damage.
A pest inspection will reveal any damage from termites, powder post beetles, and other insects. If a pest infestation is discovered, home inspectors will need to conduct extensive testing of the property’s foundations, flooring, and structural frame.
If you are considering a house with a large yard, it’s a good idea to hire an arborist to assess the landscaping design and vegetation health.
Home inspectors will contract plumbers to test for galvanized pipes, disrupted water flow, faucet leakage, and backed up sewage disposal.
If you want to check for dangerous substances, such as asbestos or radon, you can contract a mitigation specialist to test for toxic gases and chemicals.
Home inspectors will check homes for the presence of mold or dry rot. However, for properties in damp areas, early stage mold is very hard to avoid and isn’t typically regarded as a defect.
You Can Learn More About the Property
Being present for the inspection gives you the chance to personally scrutinize the entire house and yard. You’ll also have the chance to ask detailed questions to the inspector and seller. In fact, questioning the seller during an inspection can give new insight into the property and its value. Questions to ask the seller include:
- Does the area have a history of flooding, storms, or forest fires?
- What are the rates or crime or vandalism in the property neighborhood?
- Has a murder, suicide, or haunting occurred at the property?
You are Better Equipped to Negotiate With Sellers
If your house inspection uncovers moderate-to-significant issues with a property, you can negotiate a range of lower-cost deals with the seller. We’ve listed three options you should keep in mind:
- Request closing cost credits to compensate you for time spent contracting inspectors and reviewing property reports.
- Negotiate a lower total sale price to cover the cost of repair damages and specialist inspector fees.
- Most sellers will pay the premium for your home warranty if you need to replace home appliances, reinforce foundation structures, or repair heating and cooling systems.
Remember, you will need to tailor your price negotiation to market demand. If you’re in a buyer’s market, sellers are more likely to agree to a settlement on your terms. If the seller is not willing to budge on sale price, they might compromise by providing cosmetic updates, furnishing, or an advanced possession date.
Still Can’t Find a Good Deal? It Might Be Time to Contact a Professional!
If you are serious about buying a home, connecting with a local real estate agent is a good first step. An experienced agent will not only direct you toward potential homes — they’ll break down key property features, highlight any areas of concern during the inspection, and guide you through the process of closing negotiations. If you buy with a Clever Partner Agent, you may also be eligible for up to 1% back on your home via a home buyer rebate.