• Jason Kern • Buying A Home

building inspection

One of the first items to schedule after you’ve gotten a property under contract is the general building inspection. You’ve got a specific, sometimes very short window of time to tackle this item before the end of the due diligence period. It’s important to understand here that the general building inspection is just that. It’s a good way to discover anything that may need some deeper investigation. For example, you may discover that the furnace hasn’t been serviced in the past 12 months or the GFCI outlets aren’t functioning in the kitchen. Depending on what you find in the inspection you may want to schedule a specialist to look a little deeper. All of this discovery should happen within the Due Diligence period so you’ve got to act quickly.

Some clients want to attend the inspection while others just want the report. If you do attend the actual inspection make sure to bring a flashlight and a notepad to take notes. It’s also helpful to take pictures as you move along to help remember things when you receive the report. Also, bring some water and snacks. You’ll be taking in a ton of information and it can be overwhelming.

Your agent can recommend some inspectors and help you schedule the inspections. They’ll also be able discuss some of the options and additional inspection items to consider based on the age and condition of the home. You’ll need to make some decisions on radon testing for air and water as well as lead, asbestos depending on the age of the home.

After you’ve received the report you’ll be able to review and discuss it with your agent. If there’s anything that requires further discovery you can hire specialists to investigate.

Once you’ve collected all the information from your inspections, you’ll need to communicate back to the seller anything that you’ve found that may be troublesome. You’ll then work with your agent to write what’s called an Inspection Contingency Addendum or ICA. This is a REALTOR developed form that lets the seller know that there’s an issue with the property. If it’s a latent defect like say a leak in the roof or mold in the bathroom you’re simply letting the seller know that this is the case. You may also request that they make repairs or give a concession on the contract price so that you can make repairs after the closing. If they choose to do nothing you can either proceed with the sale or back out of the contract. As long as this is handled within the due diligence period, you’ll typically get your EMD back without any issue.

Note: If a defect on the property is discovered at any time then the seller and seller agent are required by law to disclose to any future buyers.

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