A Home Inspection
Yes, you should have a home inspected by a licensed inspector after your Offer to Purchase has been accepted. It is the buyers’ responsibility to hire the inspector because they are paying for it. The Offer or Addendum should contain a contingency for an inspection. And, depending on where you live, you should consider a radon test, especially if there is a living area in the basement.
What to Expect
During a home inspection, the inspector should thoroughly evaluate the physical structure of the home as well as critical internal systems. A home inspector not only goes through the house to look for any issues, concerns, or defects, he or she is also willing to educate the new homeowner on how to maintain the house, such as how to replace the furnace filters, how to re-set the circuit breakers, how to turn off the water heater, how to operate the electric fireplace, etc.
While an inspection will give you an idea of a house’s overall condition, it might not uncover hidden problems such as pests, mold or asbestos. It also won’t turn up flaws in areas that are below ground or otherwise inaccessible to the inspector, like wells and septic tanks. To identify those types of problems, you’re going to need additional inspections.
Once the inspector completes the inspection, you will receive a report with the inspector’s findings. Home inspections are detailed, so reports can often include many concerns, most of which are relatively small. The concern is if the inspector finds “defects,” which are defined as a condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the property, that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants, or that if not repaired, removed, or replaced, would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the premises.
If the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable dealing with, and if your Offer or Addendum includes an inspection contingency with no right to cure, you can choose to back out of the sale. If the Offer or Addendum allows for the Seller to have a right to cure, the Seller may choose to make the repairs or lower the price to proceed with the sale.
Know What you are Buying
More than 30 states require a separate pest inspection before a home loan can close. Wisconsin is not one of them. But even if you live in a state where it’s optional, it can be an additional safeguard.
The goal of every home inspector is to educate the buyer about what they are buying. Every home has issues, but the buyer should know what those issues are.
Call Premiere Stagers and Realty to help with your home inspection. 608-345-9396.