Whether you are buying a Sarasota home for sale or condo for the first time, or are a seasoned investor, a quality home inspection is a must. If you are new to purchasing real estate, this can be one of the scarier elements of the real estate purchase process because you may not know what to expect. While your prospective new Sarasota home may seem perfect, it takes a closer look by a professional to make sure that there are no underlying problems with the property. The process will be less daunting if you know what to expect from each of the parties involved in a typical property inspection.
As the buyer, you should learn as much about the property as possible before the inspection. This will enable you to give the inspector as much information as possible and to ask questions.
As you are walking though the property, look around and write down any concerns you may have. Include in your list questions about how the electronic, heating and plumbing systems work. Prior to the inspection, obtain a copy of the seller’s property disclosures and review them. Look for and ask questions about renovation work that has been done and whether it was properly permitted. Then ask the inspector about it.
Be very detailed about this process. Before you release the inspection contingency in your contract, you want to make sure that there will be no surprises after closing.
Make sure you are there and able to walk through the house with the inspector so that he or she can talk to you and point things out. This is a perfect opportunity to ask questions about care and maintenance of major items or about future renovations.
Most inspections go smoothly, but sometimes they turn up issues that will require additional negotiations. Some sellers may even have gotten an inspection before putting the house on the market to avoid surprises at the buyer’s inspection.
Generally the owner will not be present but your buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent will be present. They have been through many inspections and will have a handle on what’s important and suggestions for handling any issues. If the price of the home is really good, your agent may suggest that you make an issue of small fixes. If you are paying top dollar you should feel more entitled to get a home with everything in perfect working order.
Even though each agent is there to be an advocate for their client, the goal is to facilitate a clean sales transaction.
As the purchaser you are the one who hires the property inspector. The inspector works for you and will have entered into a written agreement with you. You should take care to hire a licensed professional with extensive experience doing inspections. The best way to get an inspector is usually to ask for a referral. Most buyers get a referral from their real estate agent.
What Is The Inspection For?
The main focus of a property inspector is to inspect the property for structural and non-structural flaws, inspect the operation of its systems and the general overall condition of the home, inside and out. A good inspector will remain objective and not comment on the merits of the transaction.
The inspector will spend some time walking around, test all of the systems, make extensive notes and provide you with a detailed report. Most will also give you some feedback on future maintenance and estimates of the future lifespan of major items such as the roof or HVAC systems. It is always good to know that the roof, for instance, while not leaking, will need to be replaced in the next few years.
Whenever possible try to walk through the property with the inspector and go where the inspector goes. It will be helpful for you if the inspector is able to point things out as he sees them and to show you where the systems are and how they work.
If the property has a septic system, you may wish to have a separate, experienced septic system inspector perform a septic system inspection. A new septic system is a major investment and it is not a surprise you want to have after closing. Additionally, a septic system inspection will afford you other benefits such as maintenance assistance and septic pumping reminder programs.
While you may want a friend or relative on hand for “moral support” it may not be a good idea. They may feel the need to point out all the negatives and prove to be a distraction.
Once the inspection has been completed, you and your agent should get together to discuss whether there is anything in the inspection that requires additional negotiation with the seller. If the inspection pointed out major issues, you may wish to discuss walking away from the deal. Hopefully, the inspection did not uncover and major flaws and you are now one step closer to moving into your new home. In either case, the property inspection helped you to make an informed decision