HOME INSPECTIONS – WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
Home Inspections are a good thing!
Let me first say that I will mainly be speaking about Arizona Real Estate and specifically in the Phoenix Metro area. There are many regional differences when it comes to a real estate transaction so be sure to ask questions of the REALTOR representing you so you’re well informed.
Here in Arizona, when a standard residential purchase contract is used, the buyer is given 10-days to conduct any and all inspections, unless negotiated otherwise. Day 1 begins the day after delivery of the executed contract/counter/addenda and these are calendar days, not just Monday thru Friday.
The buyer is responsible for all inspections… to schedule them (often their REALTOR does) and to pay for them. There are many options when it comes to inspections.
Most common is where a buyer will hire a general home inspector, whom will come into the home and test out all systems along with checking for visible issues. There is no demolition involved to discover hidden defects. Prices for this generally range anywhere from $250-$500 depending upon the size of the home and location. These days, the inspector will conduct their inspection and then the buyer along with their REALTOR show up for a walk-thru portion. This is where the inspector will go over his findings and physically show the buyer what was found to be of any concern, non-functioning or out of the ordinary. From there, the buyer will receive a written and/or electronic report, usually in a full format and summary portion just showing the items of concern.
Any serious issues should be further investigated by a specialized contractor in that field, such as a roofer, electrician or plumber.
At the same time, at least here locally, it’s often a good idea for a buyer to obtain a termite inspection. Sometimes this is included with the general, but not always. Cost for just a termite inspection is about $50-$75, but often that inspection fee goes away if a treatment is done after finding an active infestation. There really are three types of homes here: 1) homes with termites, 2) homes that have had termites and 3) homes that just don’t have them yet. They’re very common and if found early, normally aren’t a huge problem.
A buyer is able to perform their own inspection if they like, but they will sign a waiver holding everyone else in the transaction harmless to do so.
After inspections are complete, the buyer normally has the opportunity to request any safety/structural/systematic type repairs of the seller. Cosmetics are not supposed to be asked for. The seller will then have an opportunity to respond and of course this period can turn into some negotiating.
We’re not seeing so many “As-Is” sales any longer with the decline in Lender-Owned & Short-Sale properties, but a buyer still has every right to inspect even after that addendum is signed. In fact it’s encouraged since the seller will often not be making any repairs. This way a buyer knows going in what to expect and prepare for. If there are major issues found, it may be best to turn away from that property.
Again, ask your REALTOR for their professional opinion and suggestions and if you’re in need of Real Estate assistance, I’m happy to assist!