Friday, August 23, 2019 / by Barry Owen
Immediately upon receiving a Binding agreement, the Buyers will order the home inspection(s).
We have found that the optimal amount of time for this "Inspection Period" is 7-14 days. During this period of time, the Buyers must hire any and all desired inspectors ASAP to provide the time for the inspections to be performed and reports completed.
This can be a nerve racking experience for some sellers because of concerns about potential discovery of expensive unknown condition issues. Our best advice is for the Sellers to (within reason) accommodate access to the property when the inspectors are able to come. Sometimes, Home inspectors are booked for some days and cannot schedule quickly.
Remember to have the house in uncluttered condition with easy access to to all spaces (Rooms, Garage, Basement/crawl space, attic) including any locked places. Pay particular attention for unobstructed access to HVAC units, water heater(s), Electrical service panels. Do a "survey" of all lighting and replace any burned out bulbs. Trim trees and bushes a minimum of 2 feet away from the house.
All of these tips facilitate a smoother "inspection resolution" and likely a shorter list of deficiencies noted by the inspector(s).
Expect the home inspection to take 2 /1/2 - 4 hours. We strongly encourage you (Sellers) to leave the house.
Some Buyer agents choose to be present for the whole inspection while others don't. The goal is to give the inspectors unhindered access and peace, so they can focus on doing their job.
Most inspectors request the Buyers come @ 1/2 hour before completion, so the Inspector can summarize the findings and answer questions.
They usually email the full report to the Buyer within 24 hours.
Upon receipt, the Buyer typically forwards it to their REALTOR, and together they study the findings. Most home inspectors are "realists" and not "alarmists" with respect to "normal deferred maintenance and/or items that are not "per current code". As long as the systems were installed per code at the time of installation, it is not reasonable for a buyer to require the Seller "upgrade." (Codes Change over time)
Bear in mind that there is NO perfect house. Even brand, spanking new house can have multiple, small issues.
The primary focus of most Buyers is on addressing the most important issues . . . Things that not operating as they should - Plumbing, Electrical, Roof, Crawl Space, Water Intrusion, Fungus/Mold, Radon.
There may be issues that merit evaluation by an additional "expert" to determine possible solutions. e.g. Radon gas, HVAC system under-performance, Crawl space moisture, Roof leaks, etc.
Additionally, aesthetic objections are not reasonable repair requirements.
The Buyer has 3 options:
1. Accept the property as-is and therefore not requiring the Seller to make any repairs using the RF 656 "Notification" form
2. Draft an RF 654 Repair/Replacement Proposal
3. Terminate the contract based on Property Condition using the RF 656 "Notification" form (Earnest money returned to Buyer)
If #2, The ensuing process is that Buyer with REALTOR determine the issues of most concern to the Buyer. These issues are then listed on RF 654 Repair/Replacement Proposal which they submit to the seller along with pertinent comments/photos from the report.
The Buyer MUST provide this proposal within the prescribed "Inspection Period" . . . If not, then the buyer forfeits the rights provided and accepts the condition as it is with no requirement for Seller to make repairs. This Repair/Replace Proposal is NOT a binding agreement. It is only a proposal and is only signed by the party making the proposal.
Upon Seller receipt of the Repair/Replace Proposal, the "Resolution Period" commences - See Step 12