Getting A Home Inspection
If you are in the process of buying your first home, you may be wondering whether or not you need a home inspection. Especially if you have contracted with a real estate agent to act as a buyer’s agent on your behalf or are considering buying a new home, you may have doubts as to whether the expense associated with having a home inspection is necessary. You may also be afraid to ask for a home inspection for fear of offending the sellers or their real estate agent. You may think bringing up the subject of a home inspection might endanger the sale or make the seller less likely to negotiate with you. All of these concerns are common among potential home buyers, and all of them need to be addressed before you move forward.
An Agent’s Insights Might Not Be Enough
A real estate agent who is working for you, as opposed to a listing agent who legally works for the seller, is called a buyer’s agent and is legally required to look out for your interests and share any negative information they may have about the home. While this is an excellent thing, it doesn’t go quite far enough when it comes to identifying structural defects. Your agent is not trained to recognize problems and won’t be entering the crawlspace or climbing onto the roof looking for problems like a home inspector might. New homes aren’t immune to problems, either, and a home inspector can point out shoddy building practices before it is too late.
What A Home Inspector Might Look For
A home inspector can point out defects such as basement leaks, worn-out roofs, rotting floor supports or insect damage that will end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix if you discover them after the closing. Home inspectors can also identify potential trouble spots and make you aware of sub-par construction or repairs that are going to lead to high maintenance costs down the road. Home inspectors often are the ones who identify the presence of dangerous substances or conditions, such as lead paint, asbestos or radon. Sometimes they earn their fees almost instantly by giving you ammunition to use to negotiate a lower sales price based on their findings.
It’s Not Personal
Although it may be difficult to mention to the sweet, elderly seller that you suspect defects in her precious home, and even more difficult to bring the subject up with her hard-driving listing agent, the truth is that you can order a home inspection without ever doing either. This is not a social arrangement; it is a business deal, and your buyer’s agent is an expert at handling this part of the transaction for you. He or she will inform the seller that there will be an inspection, and he or she will also handle the negotiations if the report comes back with negative information. You needn’t worry that requesting a home inspection will make the sellers change their mind about selling the house to you. Your seller is in this to sell their home and make a profit. Few people will allow their pride to cost them the sale of their house, and, in any case, your agent will handle all the face-to-face negotiations. Besides, do you really want to pay too much for a home, however nice it may be? Skipping the home inspection can result in just that, and being upside down in a mortgage is a position no one wants to be in. Your home is your biggest investment, and it pays to know exactly what you are investing in before you put your money on the line.