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Home Inspections – What to Look For

Home Inspections - What to Look For

Most home buyers, whether its your first home or an investment property, choose to have a home professionally inspected. Though many never actually ask themselves why, and what is the benefit.

For one, the sellers are required to provide disclosures as to the history of the property from the time that they have owned. This should cover you right?… well not completely. The disclosures are “to the best of your knowledge from the time that you have owned it” and do not tell the whole story.

Well some cities require a Truth In Sale of Housing (TISH) report, so that should cover you right? Better, but still not completely. A TISH is a lot better than the disclosures, because its an actual inspection by an independent 3rd party. However they are not necessarily up to date if they were done 6+ months ago and the condition could have changed.

For that reason, and a million others, we recommend that you do have the home professionally inspected. It’s a good way to know what if any major issues the home may have. You already know that the appliances are old, or that you will repaint that room, that is the easy stuff.

What you really want to know is if the foundation is sagging, is the roof built wrong, are there electrical or plumbing issues, unclosed permits and other issues? These are the types of surprise issues that could cause you financial detriment upon purchase.

By having the property inspected by an experienced and reputable inspector, you can proceed with more comfort that these types of issues don’t exist. No inspector is perfect, they are human like the rest of us, but the expectation is that they will notice major issues.

If the inspector does point out some issues on a home that you have an accepted purchase agreement on, you have a few choices.

  1. You can cancel the purchase agreement subject to the inspection contingency.
  2. You can accept the repairs and plan to handle them yourself.
  3. You can ask the seller to make the repairs and provide evidence of such.
  4. You can ask the seller for a price concession in light of the discovery.

If VSM or its agents were representing you as the buyer, we’d certainly advise you to look to have the seller cover as much of the costs as possible. We can provide you with the necessary contractor quotes, supporting documentation, photos and more to help you get a favorable resolution. An experienced agent will know how to finesse this with the listing agent so that their client understands that these issues are now known, and would need to be disclosed to future potential buyers.

Let us know if we can help you with your next real estate purchase in MN or WI.