Home Inspections

Buying or Selling a West Chester or Liberty Township Home? Here’s What to Expect at the Home Inspection

 

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If you’re buying a West Chester or Liberty Township house for sale, you’ve probably notice the standard offer to purchase form has a clause that says “Subject to Home Inspection.” Essentially, this clause gives the buyer a period of time to inspect the home – and if there are any major defects the inspector finds, gives the buyer a way to back out of the deal.  

Home inspections can kill real estate deals, so they can make West Chester and Liberty Township homebuyers and sellers equally nervous. But there’s no need to be!

Here’s what to expect during the home inspection.

HOMEBUYERS

The West Chester or Liberty Township homebuyer will typically be expected to schedule the home inspection within 7 to 10 days of the offer to purchasing being accepted. Buyers can choose any home inspector they’d like, so don’t feel obligated to go with the one recommended by your Realtor (you want to make sure the home inspector is working independently and has your best interest in mind). Learn more about your home inspector’s qualifications (for instance, is he a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors? ASHI requires its members to inspect 250 homes before qualifying for ASHI certification) and ask for references.

OK, now you have your inspector. What does home inspection day look like? You’ll most likely show up at the house with your West Chester or Liberty Township real estate agents, who will stick by your side during the home inspection. The seller’s agent will be there too, but in most cases the seller will have been asked to leave the West Chester or Liberty Township house for sale for the duration of the inspection, which can last about 3 to 4 hours.

The home inspector will usually begin with a visual inspection of the home’s exterior. He’ll check the structural components, such as the foundation, and will look at a number of features such as walkways, doors, windows and siding. If the roof is accessible the inspector will evaluate the condition of the shingles, chimneys, skylights and gutters. Inside, the inspector will look at plumbing, electrical, heating and ventilation systems to ensure everything is in good working order. The inspector will usually give you an estimate as to the life left on each of the systems, and will point out any issues that may exist (e.g. leaking pipes, missing GFCI receptacles and mold). He’ll provide a general overview of the home’s condition and will note any significant cosmetic blemishes like holes in the walls or water stains on the ceiling.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions during the home inspection. Once the inspection is complete, the home inspector will package his findings in a final report. The report will have all sorts of caveats to protect the inspector—such as referring you to other licensed experts for more information.

Now is your time to negotiate: work with your West Chester and Liberty Township real estate agency to determine what, if any, improvements you want the seller to make as a condition of closing. You can also ask for a credit on the offer price or a credit at closing to fix the issue on your own. Just be forewarned: the seller is not obligated to make any repairs unless otherwise specified in the contract, and may refuse to do so altogether.

SELLERS

Some people with West Chester and Liberty Township houses for sale may opt to conduct a home inspection of their own prior to putting their home on the Butler County, OH real estate market. This gives them a heads up about any issues that will likely be uncovered down the road, and gives the sellers some time to either make the repairs or will help them price the home accordingly.

On the day of the buyer’s inspection, take a hike! Sellers often want to be present for the inspection but this just creates an awkward environment where the inspector may feel uncomfortable pointing out the home’s defects for fear of upsetting the seller. Similarly, the homebuyers may feel uneasy asking questions. Your West Chester or Liberty Township listing agent will be there on your behalf and will report back to you accordingly.

After the home inspection, the report will be made available to the buyers only (as they are the inspector’s client). Be prepared for buyers to bring you back to the negotiating table. They may ask you to make repairs to the West Chester or Liberty Township house for sale, or may ask for credits to be given (either in the form of a lower purchase price or a credit at closing). You don’t have to make any of the repairs or agree to a credit, but understand that your unwillingness to do so may drive the buyers away. In a sellers’ market, you have the leverage. In a buyers’ market, they do. Keep that in mind when negotiating one way or another.

In especially hot real estate markets, like West Chester and Liberty Township, some buyers will forego a home inspection altogether. This can be very attractive to people selling Butler County real estate as they won’t have to worry about further negotiations, but it also presents a major risk to homebuyers. In almost all circumstances, we recommend that our clients do a home inspection. Though home inspections can cost between $300 and $800, they can save West Chester and Liberty Township homebuyers thousands of dollars down the line. Skimp on your new kitchen table if need be—just not on your home inspection!

Looking for more real estate advice? Contact one of our agents! Stanley Realty is among the top real estate agencies in West Chester and Liberty Township. We’ve worked with all sorts of buyers and sellers and know that each situation is unique. Let’s sit down and see how we can help YOU this time around!