Almost every residential real estate transaction still includes an inspection contingency. A point of true anxiety for both buyers and sellers. Luckily this is something that usually takes place within the first week or two of going under contract. Buyers and sellers need to shift their perspective on inspections, which are put in place as a protection for both parties. They should be regarded as a normal part of the negotiation process rather than a stressor.
For buyers who are having trouble wrapping their heads around the process and how to get through it, remember that you (buyers) and your respective sellers ultimately want the same thing- a completed transaction and transfer of property ownership!
5 Steps to Get Through Inspection as a Buyer!
1. Set expectations.
As a buyer, you're likely hoping for a perfect inspection in which the home you offered to purchase is 'storybook' built and maintained. Set your expectations ahead of time. Perfect inspections do not exist. If you aren't prepared for inspection, you will receive a report that looks like your freshman year physics text book and all of the sudden you will want to run for the hills. Remember, the inspector's job is to point out all of the little details, but that doesn't necessarily mean your picturesque home is past salvation!
2. Focus on the big ticket items.
Let me guess- you saw the home of your dreams and it made you feel all warm and gooey. Then you put in an offer and now you're freaking out about a laundry list of repairs that need to take place before you move in? Buyers always want the house to be absolutely flawless on move-in day. But, remember that not everything needs to be repaired immediately! Focus on issues that will be difficult, expensive, time-consuming or disruptive to fix. Such as, foundation, roof, windows, plumbing, water damage, furnace, major appliances, etc.
3. Choose your battles wisely.
Now, remember this is part of the negotiation process. Engage your rational brain and evaluate the cost and difficulty level associated with correcting what has been discovered during inspection. Take a moment to reflect on the value of the home you're purchasing and the price you have previously negotiated. What is the relationship between the home's overall value and those inspection items you want to dispute? How do the flaws affect the home's value and future value? Will those items cause worse problems in time? And what value does this home have to you, outside of it's financial value? Give yourself enough time to decide which battles are worth fighting here and ask your realtor to advise you on the negotiation.
4. Request proof & warranties.
Assuming you made it through the negotiation process and have convinced your sellers to make certain repairs prior to closing, be sure to request everything in writing. Ask for receipts of all repairs, including contact info for any service providers. This way you can reach out to them directly if something comes up at a later time post-closing. If there are any transferrable warranties, you'll want to make sure you get those arranged prior to closing as well.
5. Know when it is actually time to run.
Unfortunately, there are times when running is actually the best option (run Forest!). If you're emotionally invested in the property, which is inevitable at this point in the transaction, it can be hard to come to this realization. You've already imagined your life in that home. Where you would sit, how you would spend your time. In this instance, talk with your real estate agent to ensure you have a realistic view of what the future may bring if you move forward or choose not to. If need be, consult a close friend or family member to reassure yourself of your decision.
Good luck with your inspection. Enjoy the process and take it step by step.
As always, thank you for reading! Don't forget to reach out to us at The Baldwin Bain Group with any questions about your next real estate transaction - Contact Us!