Ocala home inspections serve a vital purpose in the homebuying process.
You may be easily swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Then, once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, when proceeding along the route to making a significant financial commitment, it’s best to act prudently and protect your interests every step of the way.
When you hire a home inspector, your objective should be to receive a professional, in-depth examination of the subject property’s structure and systems. Such an inspection is a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run. Of course, the truth of that statement applies whether the report warns you away from making a bad purchase, or provides a list of deficiencies you can ask your seller to correct.
However, many buyers make mistakes during the inspection process. Of course, such mistakes can cost time and money, while creating unnecessary stress. To be sure, you would be wise to avoid the eight common blunders we introduce to you in this post. Doing so will minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give you peace of mind and confidence in your home purchase.
Ocala Home Inspections MISTAKE 1: Not doing a visual inspection before submitting an offer!
While you should rely on your home inspector to assess a home’s condition and report defects and deficiencies to you, we recommend that you do a cursory visual inspection before we draft an offer for you. By doing so, you can factor potential problems into the offer price, or choose to pass on the property entirely.
Examine the walls and ceilings. Check for suspicious cracks or discolorations which may potentially be causes for concern.1 Also, look for leaky faucets and peek underneath sinks to spot signs of pipe leaks.1 Additionally, look for obvious signs of damage to windows, siding, decks, and other wooden structures.
Of course, these steps will only give you a superficial insight as to the condition of the home you are about to bid on, yet they are important primarily for one reason. They will provide a frame of reference. Utilizing it, you will be able to evaluate the quality of the home’s maintenance.
Ocala Home Inspections MISTAKE 2: Hiring the Least Expensive Inspector
We all love to save money, but you would not be wise to trade an inspector’s qualifications for a few dollars in cost savings. Before you contract, do a little research and ask your Realtor for recommendations.2 Ask about inspectors’ backgrounds, years of experience, and the number of inspections they have completed. Verify their certifications and credentials, and make sure they carry the proper insurance.
Ocala Home Inspections MISTAKE 3: Choosing Not To Attend the Inspection
Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. Buyers who aren’t present during their Ocala home inspections miss a great opportunity to gather valuable information about their new home.
If you attend the inspection, don’t spend all your time picking out paint colors or chatting with your new neighbors. Instead, use your time to shadow the inspector. Don’t miss this perfect opportunity to become more familiar with the home you are buying. Ask questions and learn first-hand what repairs and improvements are required.3
Of course, if you do choose to tag along with your inspector, exercise good judgment. Don’t get in the way, become a distraction, or do anything to jeopardize anyone’s safety, including your own.
If you can’t attend the inspection, schedule a time to meet or speak by phone with the inspector to go over the report in detail. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions and request clarifications about issues raised in the report.
MISTAKE 4: Failing To Carefully Review The Inspection Report
Inspection reports can be long and detailed. Therefore, it may be tempting to skim through them. However, buyers who do this risk missing crucial information. For this reason, you would be wise to read the report carefully and ask for clarifications of anything you do not understand. Doing so will put you in the best position to negotiate a resolution to issues raised and protect your interest.
Your inspector may also flag some minor items that you wouldn’t typically expect a seller to fix. So please take that fact into consideration when deciding what to demand of the seller.
MISTAKE 5: Failing To Ask Questions
Don’t be shy about asking questions. After all, you hired your inspector for their professional expertise. Therefore, you should expect to be able to avail yourself of that expertise by asking questions. Sample questions you wish to ask may include the following:
Would you fix this issue if it were in your own home?
How urgent is it?
What could happen if I don’t fix it?
Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
Who is qualified to deal with this issue for me?
Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
How much longer would you expect this system, structure or appliance to last?
What maintenance steps would you recommend?
The information you derive from asking such questions will help you to make an informed decision as to how to proceed. Of course, your skilled real estate agent can also offer sage advice and help you determine the best path to a resolution of issues raised by the report.
MISTAKE 6: Expecting The Seller to repair every deficiency, no matter how trivial.
Some buyers can be intimidated by a lengthy, detailed inspection report. Of course, since there are hundreds of items on an inspector’s checklist, reports may include many inconsequential deficiencies.4 Please seek the advice of your inspector and Realtor as to which deficiencies you should request the seller to correct or compensate you for, and which ones are best left out of negotiations.
MISTAKE 7: Forgoing Additional Recommended Testing and Inspections
There are times when an agent or an inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist to evaluate a potential issue.5 For example, they may suggest testing for mold or consulting with a roofing expert. You would be wise to heed such advice. If you decide to forego retaining the required expert to save money, you may live to regret your decision when major issues are later confirmed.
MISTAKE 8: Foregoing Re-inspection of Repairs
Most buyers request receipts to prove that repairs have been correctly completed. However, it’s always prudent to go a step further and have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector or another qualified professional, even if there’s an additional charge.6 While the majority of sellers are forthcoming, some will try to save money by cutting corners, hiring unlicensed contractors or doing the work themselves. A re-inspection will confirm that repairs are completed properly and greatly reduce the risk that you will face unexpected costs later.
When negotiating with the sellers over repairs, be specific. Identify each problem, and agree on how repairs are to be completed, who shall complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.7
Of course, you may also waive repairs or ask for financial compensation with a view to doing necessary repairs yourself after closing. If that is your choice, protect yourself and your investment by ensuring the work is done properly.
WE CAN HELP
A home inspection can reduce risk and save you money in the long run. However, you would be wise to avoid common home inspection mistakes to get the best results and safeguard your investment.
While the mistakes we described above are among the most common, they are not intended to be a complete and all inclusive list. Therefore, please act prudently and wisely, seek your Realtor’s advice and enjoy a safe, exciting and low stress home buying experience. We invite you to put our expertise to work for you and let us help you to make your dream lifestyle real.
“It’s not unusual to do an inspection and find out something needs correction.”
– Sharon Watson
Taking shortcuts is not conducive to a successful home buying experience. Let’s do things the right way from our first conversation to shaking hands at closing! It’s the shortest route to a happy ending!
Andrew Kruglanski, MBA, ABD, Broker
The New York Times 3