What to Expect with Inspections

What to Expect with Inspections

One of the more stressful aspects of buying or selling a home is the inspection process. Buyers typically receive a seller property disclosure statement, but there may be issues the sellers are unaware of, which are likely to come up during inspections.

In our area, most buyers do the following inspections:

  • Home inspection
  • Radon test
  • Wood infestation inspection
Where water and sewer lines have not been installed, houses have wells and on-site septic systems, and in these cases, buyers typically do additional inspections:
  • Septic system inspection
  • Water test, which includes testing for coliform and other potential contaminants
  • Well inspection.
Other inspections some buyers opt for include:
  • Lead-paint test
  • Stucco inspection to uncover any moisture penetration
  • Mold test, if the presence of mold is suspected or the buyer has a mold allergy
  • Pool inspection for in-ground pools.
Common items uncovered on home inspections include roofing issues, problems with heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing leaks, broken seals in widows, evidence of past water in the basement, and electrical issues, such as open wiring and a lack of GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) where required.

Who Pays?

Buyers typically pay for inspections, so the price goes up with the number of inspections chosen. Inspectors generally require payment in advance or at the time of the inspection. If the sale falls through as a result of inspections, the buyers will be looking at additional costs for any inspections chosen for the next house they make an offer to buy.

How Does It Work?

The buyers’ inspections typically start once the buyers’ offer is accepted and the agreement of sale has been executed (i.e., signed by all parties). The time frame for the inspections is specified in the agreement of sale and tends to be between ten and fifteen calendar days but might be longer in cases where more extensive testing is needed and the seller has agreed to a longer time.

The standard PA agreement of sale requires all inspection reports to be provided to the sellers and allows for buyers to terminate the sale during the inspection time frame if they aren’t happy with any of the inspection results. Alternatively, they can accept the property as is or present the sellers with a list of repairs they would like the sellers to make. During the subsequent negotiation period, the buyers and sellers have an opportunity to come to written agreement on which repairs the sellers will complete. If they cannot come to agreement on repairs, the buyers can terminate the sale, as long as they do so within the time frames spelled out in their agreement of sale.

Inspections can be costly, but they’re well worth the money. Most buyers are willing to pay for inspections to help avoid discovering the need for costly repairs after they move in.

If you’re planning to buy or sell, contact Annette Nelson at (610) 247-7892 or annette@preferredhomes.com.

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