After a buyer purchases a home - whether it’s a single family or condo/townhome - you will have a contingency period of time in which you can have any inspections you want. However, you are responsible to pay the inspectors upon completing their inspection/s (the only exception would be a termite inspection if asked for by the buyer or the lender in the purchase contract). The seller usually pays for the termite inspection and any work that’s found through escrow, unless another arrangement has been made between the buyer and seller in writing.
It is strongly suggested that a buyer has a home inspection, even if it’s a brand new property. If the buyer waives a home inspection by a licensed inspector, it must be waived, by the buyer in writing (of course there is a form for that).
Finding a good inspector is difficult, but hopefully your realtor can give you some names and numbers for you to call (at least 3 names). That’s why it’s so very important to work with a good and knowledgeable realtor.
Your agent will set up a time and date for the inspection with the inspector, seller and buyer. On a smaller home an inspection can take a couple of hours. After the inspector has verbalized and hopefully, shown the buyer his/her findings, that’s the time the buyer needs to get with their agent to put their requests in writing.
Since this is still during the contingency period, the requested results become part of a negotiation between the buyer and the seller.
I usually tell my buyers to stick to heath and safety issues because the house is probably not a new house and I’m certain the seller is not about to remodel. Also, pay attention to the inventory, or lack of inventory. If the buyer gets too nitpicky, the seller can cancel the entire transaction. However, the buyer can too. Usually there is a meeting of the minds that will make everyone happy.
I can’t stress enough, the importance of having a home inspection. It’s the inspector’s job to point everything out that he/she finds to enlighten the buyer. Sometimes they will miss something, but they are human and it certainly doesn’t happen often.
After the requests have been resolved and agreed to in writing, it’s time to remove the inspection contingency. If for some reason the transaction is cancelled, the inspection report is usually given to the new buyer for familiarization purposes only. A new buyer should always have their own inspection at their expense.
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