When it comes to real estate transactions, there can be many unknowns for both the buyer and the seller. The solution? Home inspections.
Home inspections are popular in real estate because they uncover and resolve property issues prior to the final sale. For buyers, knowing about any structural issues in advance is a huge advantage that can make or break a deal – and in 2022, 88 percent of successful buyers saw the benefits.
Still, home inspections offer advantages for buyers and sellers. In this article, we’ll cover what a home inspection is, how to get one, and how it can benefit all parties involved in the mortgage process.
What is a Home Inspection?
Simply put, a home inspection is when a licensed inspector visits a property to examine it for issues. This is often a precautionary step during the home-buying process that ensures the home is physically up-to-date and ready for a new owner. Sometimes it can be confused with a home appraisal, so we’ve broken down the differences below:
- A home inspection is thorough and optional, focusing on the overall condition of the home.
- A home appraisal is more general and focuses on the overall value of the home.
Visit our inspection vs. appraisal article to learn more about the differences in greater detail. Each has an important role during the mortgage process – but for now, let’s look at the benefits an inspection can bring.
Home Inspection Benefits for Buyers
Personally touring a home is one thing – it offers a first-hand view of the property’s condition – but at the end of the day, it doesn’t give the same benefits to buyers as an official inspection.
Why? Because not all issues with a home can be seen on the surface.
It’s almost impossible to know all the details without the knowledge of a professional inspector. If there’s damage that isn’t immediately visible, for example, it could cost the buyer thousands of dollars in repairs if they skip the inspection. On the other hand, an inspection ensures that there aren’t any unwanted surprises and the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting into.
Top Five Inspection Benefits for Buyers
For home buyers, an inspection:
- Identifies potential problems with a property and its associated costs.
- Empowers buyers to make more informed decisions
- Minimizes repairs needed after closing
- Makes the buying process smoother and more efficient.
- Helps during negotiations if issues are found.
Remember: purchasing a home is a huge financial investment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. By ordering an inspection, you’ll eliminate those “what ifs” and give yourself more peace of mind with your transaction. In the event that issues are uncovered during the inspection, you’ll also be in a good position to negotiate and could even change the final price of the property.
Have any questions about the home inspection process? Find a loan expert near you for more information.
Home Inspection Benefits for Sellers
Getting a professional home inspection can also benefit sellers during the mortgage process. In an ideal situation, an inspection will expedite the process and get the property sold with minimal setbacks. It can also help sellers better familiarize themselves with their property and position them for faster, more successful negotiations.
Top Five Inspection Benefits for Sellers
For home sellers, an inspection:
- Expedites the selling process.
- Sets expectations by providing proof of condition to buyers.
- Offers negotiating leverage (if the home is in good condition).
- Helps the seller know the true condition of their home and set an appropriate price.
- Reduces the risk of lawsuits and ensures all parties are happy with the transaction.
By looking at these advantages, it’s easy to see why having a home inspection performed is smart. It’s mutually beneficial and increases the likelihood that both the buyer and seller strike a fair deal. That way everyone wins and both parties can feel good about the transaction.
How to Get a Home Inspection
Now that we’ve covered the buying and selling benefits of a home inspection, let’s look at how it’s done. Below, we’ve outlined five high-level steps of the home inspection process from a buyer’s perspective.
Step 1: Find a Reputable Inspector
First, you’ll want to find a well-reviewed home inspector who can accurately assess the condition of the property. This person should be certified and have experience in the field. The best way to find a qualified inspector is by researching online or asking friends and family for recommendations. Your dedicated loan expert may also offer some connections who can help.
Step 2: Schedule the Inspection
Once you’ve found a qualified inspector, it’s time to schedule the inspection. The inspector will usually come to the property and perform an inspection that can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the size and condition of the property. If possible, it’s usually a good idea to accompany the inspector for this part and ask any questions as necessary.
Step 3: Review the Home Inspection Report
After the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide you with a home inspection report. This report will outline the property’s condition and any areas of concern. Be sure to read over the report carefully and understand any areas that need attention.
Step 4: Negotiate With the Seller
Once you’ve read the report, it’s time to negotiate with the seller. Depending on the findings of the report, you may be able to get the seller to address any areas of concern or arrive at a lower asking price. If the seller refuses to fix the issues and your inspection was done within the contingency period outlined in your contract, you may even be able to back out of the deal penalty-free.
Step 5: Seal the Deal
The last step is to finalize the sale. After the negotiations have been completed, both parties can proceed with signing the paperwork. This is the last step before the buyer officially takes possession of the property.
Explore Your Options With Total Mortgage
Getting a home inspection is an integral part of the mortgage process – and now that you know the buying and selling benefits, you’re in an even better position to move forward. Apply online to get a free rate quote and a realistic assessment from a dedicated mortgage professional.
Filed Under: mortgage-interest-rates
I really like the idea of having a home inspected before buying it. If I’m going to buy a home, I’d want to know that the seller has already taken care of any problems. Or, at the very least, I’d like to know exactly what existing problems there are so I can decide if I want to go through with the purchase or not.