Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, a checklist, photographs, environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this, combined with the seller's disclosure and what you notice yourself, makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do? Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies for various systems and components, and minor imperfections. These are useful to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure;
things that lead to major defects, such as a small roof-flashing leak, for example;
things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home; and
safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4). Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.
Advantage of selling a home that has been Move-In-Certified include:
A Move-In Certified seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller. •The seller can choose a certified InterNACHI inspector to inspect the home properly before the buyer's inspector arrives. •The seller can schedule the inspection at his or her own convenience. •The seller can assist the inspector during the inspection -- something not normally done during a buyer's inspection. •The inspection may alert the seller to any immediate concerns, such as radon gas or an active termite infestation. •Move-In Certified yard signs attract potential buyers. •A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time, which: •gives the seller time to shop for competitively-priced contractors to make repairs; •permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report; •makes the home show better after problems are addressed; and •removes over-inflated buyer-procured repair estimates from the negotiation table. •A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th-hour re-negotiations.
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