The contracts are signed, title work is being processed, and the transaction is moving along smoothly. The next step in keeping the process going is the inspection. During this time, a licensed inspector will check every aspect of every system, door, window, faucet, floor, etc in the home. It is important to remember that it is the inspector’s job to objectively diagnose the property, not give an opinion.
Keeping that in mind, You WILL see things on the report that will annoy you (light bulb above vanity does not function, smoke alarm battery is dead, etc.). Some things may seem trivial, but everyone in the transaction is a team, and everyone wants to make sure the best possible product is delivered at closing. This point sometimes gets lost. Whether you are an experienced real estate agents in Carmel, IN and first time home buyers across the U.S., can easily get caught up on the small things. The following are questions that commonly come up throughout this process, and when answered up front, can make things go a lot smoother for everyone.
Who schedules the inspection, and when?
- The buyer is the one who schedules the inspection appointment. They are the ones who need to be most comfortable and trusting of the inspector performing the work.
- The inspection should be scheduled as soon as possible, either on the day of an accepted offer, or the day after if the offer is accepted in the evening.
- The sooner the better with inspections, if something is seriously wrong with the home, it is better to find out early to start coming up with a solution.
What happens if there is something wrong with the house?
- The question should really say, “when.” Even if a home is brand new, there is still a good chance the inspector will find something. Usually it’s one of those annoying knit picky issues, but there have been major problems discovered on brand new homes that were built improperly.
- When the inspection report comes through to the buyer, they will sit down with their agent and come up with a list of repairs they would like the seller to make before closing. This is called the inspection response.
- From there, you can counter the inspection response with a different list of repairs or agree to make the repairs the initially requested. We then have entered another round of negotiations, much like the offer - counter offer sequence.
Who decides who does the repairs and who schedules them?
- This will be up to the seller. Experienced real estate agents will have vendors with whom they work with on a daily basis. They should have a number of trusted contractors that do timely and reliable work if you don't know any and need recommendations.
- The listing agent should take care of coordinating the repairs and giving them entry to the home on the days they need to be there. Although most contractors can get into a home using the lockbox.
- Even if you have your agent schedule the repairs, it might be nice to give the contractor a call just to provide any additional information, or at the least, introduce yourself.
The Bottom Line
The inspection process is stressful for a lot of buyers and sellers, but it doesn't have to be. A good realtor will proactively do everything they can to ensure the process is as smooth and seamless as possible. An agent can't magically make a home perfect, but what they can do is manage their clients expectations to drastically increase the likelihood of a fair and relatively stress-free inspection process.