“CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE UNDER CONTRACT!”
After you’ve written, signed, and submitted the offer, if the seller accepts it, you’re under contract and the game is afoot! Whether you chose to have an option period (a time in the contract in which you as the buyer can choose to terminate the contract for any reason), you’ll want to get a home inspection. Even if it is a brand new house. (I’ll go over that one in detail on my new construction post too.) Having a home inspection, by a state-licensed inspector, is important because it lets you know what you’re getting into. The inspector will go through the house and, depending on the size and amenities of the property take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours (maybe more if it’s a really big house) to evaluate as much of the house as he/she has access to. This includes any attached appliances in the kitchen (stove, dishwasher, disposal, sink), and making visual inspections of the HVAC systems, electrical, walls, floors, attic, et cetera. The inspector will not move things or destroy the property to gain access to items in order to evaluate them so their evaluation is not always going to catch absolutely everything, but it’s an excellent start. Home inspectors are also not usually licensed to do speciality inspections on things that require special licenses to work on or install such as electrical, plumbing, the HVAC system or the foundation, so they will sometimes include in their report a recommendation to have something further evaluated by another professional who holds the particular license necessary. The home inspector’s evaluation is a lot like going to see a general practitioner, but if the GP sees something’s amiss, he’ll likely refer you to a specialist to have it further evaluated. Better to know now than later, when you own it, and it’s your problem.
Even if you have no intention of negotiating any repairs, you’ll still want a punch list of “honey-dos” to properly maintain your home as you live in it. If you find something on the inspection that is just terrible but you still want the house, you may be able to ask the seller to fix the terrible thing or negotiate some other appropriate solution to the problem. If you can’t come to terms, depending on how you wrote the offer, you may be able to terminate the contract, and continue your house search. There were a LOT of “if’s” in that paragraph and some of this is vague, but the reason is because each and every transaction is different. You’ll want to know all your options as they impact your specific parameters, and, again, that’s what a great buyer’s agent can do for you. SO don’t panic or get mired in the weeds here, just know there’s a lot of moving parts, but they all have their time and place in the process. Bottom line, get an inspection.
Get a home inspection! Spend the money to get the house checked out before you commit to buying it. The worst thing you can possibly do is to not try and gather as much info as possible about the house you’re buying. It could cost you thousands!!
And, as always, a reminder that I LOVE what I do and I LOVE talking about real estate, so if you have questions, please ask. Questions give me purpose, and they give me more blog topics too!
EXP Realty LLC, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
legal advice. **