Buying a new home in Fort Worth or Dallas is exciting, and most new homeowners can’t wait to close the deal and move in. However, before all of those steps, you need to know exactly what you’re getting.
The home inspection is one of the most important steps you can take in your home buying process. Your home inspection will provide an unbiased, professional overview of your prospective property so that you can understand what repairs may be needed now or in the near future. It helps you avoid unexpected expenses and can help you negotiate with the seller.
There are some common mistakes during the home inspection process that many home buyers encounter, but that are easy to avoid. Here’s the things that you don’t want to do:
Don’t Skip a Home Inspection
Sometimes a home inspection can feel like an unnecessary extra expense, or that it will extend the time required to get to closing. In reality, the cost of a home inspection is very small compared to the large financial investment you are making when you purchase real estate, and you can usually book a home inspection and have the home inspection report back in hand within a few days, even when you consider needing to coordinate access to the property with the home seller.
The actual home inspection usually only takes a few hours – unless the property is huge and also includes numerous outbuildings. Semper Fi Home Inspections helps you shorten the time needed by allowing you to directly book a home inspection online, and providing same day inspection reports.
Don’t Skip Your Home Inspection
It can feel like a home inspection is something best left to the professionals, and your real estate agent can always be present to represent your interests. However, attending the home inspection will allow you to do some of your own inspection, and also be present to ask questions of your licensed home inspector.
You’ll want to make sure that the home appears to be well maintained overall, and have a thorough and informative home inspection report combined with additional information that you have asked the inspector personally, which can help you factor in the cost of any expected repairs during your negotiation process.
If it’s unavoidable to attend the inspection, be sure to follow up with the home inspector after you receive the report to ask any questions about the information it contains.
Don’t Hire the Cheapest Inspector
In most cases, the cost of the home inspection factors in the size of the home and any specialized inspections that you may need to include. However, for the most part, home inspections in the Dallas/Fort Worth area fall within a range of prices.
A home inspection is not the place to cut corners. As we already mentioned, it’s a very small fraction of price compared to the large financial investment that you’re making in a real estate purchase.
Do your research and ask for recommendations. Check with friends and family and also ask your real estate agent if they have a recommendation.
Check out the background of the home inspection company, verify that they have a license, and see if they are a member of any professional organizations, such as InterNACHI that we are a member of here at Semper Fi. Find out what systems are covered during their home inspection. And feel welcome to ask questions during your research.
Don’t Skip Reading the Report
Home inspection reports can be long and sometimes feel overwhelming, but don’t give in to the temptation to only skim the information. And as great as most real estate agents are, you shouldn’t rely upon them to read the report for you.
Review your home inspection report carefully so that you don’t miss something important. Sometimes there will be small items noted that most buyers shouldn’t expect a seller to fix, but you still need to be aware of them since they may be maintenance or repairs that you will need to schedule at some point to prevent larger issues in the future.
There is usually a limited amount of time that you can request repairs or make further negotiations to the selling price, so understanding the information in your home inspection report and reviewing the report in full as soon as possible after you receive it can be critical.
Don’t Forget to Ask Questions
Attending the home inspection will allow you great opportunity to ask questions of the home inspector. Asking for clarification about items contained in the home inspection report is also an opportunity that you should not miss.
Don’t ask your inspector of they would buy the property, because they really can’t make that recommendation for you. Instead, consider some questions such as:
- Would you get this issue fixed in your own home?
- How urgent is it?
- What could happen if I don’t fix it?
- Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
- What type of professional should I call?
- Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
- How much longer would you expect this system/structure/appliance to last?
- What maintenance steps would you recommend?
Don’t Expect a “Passing” or Perfect Report
The purpose of a home inspection is not to give a “passing grade” or hope for a report that finds no potential issues. There are thousands of items that a home inspection covers and it’s normal for a home inspection report to outline a whole list of deficiencies. What’s important is to understand which issues are a simple fix versus which ones may require expensive repairs; and which ones are cosmetic or others that are a safety hazard.
Your real estate agent has experience negotiating after a home inspection report for necessary repairs and can help you determine how to approach the seller and what items you could reasonably expect them to address. Be sure that your request is very clear; identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work (ie a licensed technician), and how the repairs will be verified.
Don’t Skip a Repair Re-Inspection
Once you’ve requested specific repairs and the seller has agreed, they will usually provide you with receipts for work completed. However, especially in the case of larger repairs, it’s recommended that you have those repairs reinspected, even if there is an additional charge.
Your home inspector can help make sure that the repair has been completed properly so that you aren’t facing redoing it later. In the case of larger home systems such as roof, foundation, HVAC or plumbing, you want to make sure that the seller didn’t cut corners or try to do the repair themselves.
Semper Fi Home Inspections Can Help
Overall, the cost of a home inspection is a very small fraction of the cost of a new home, and goes a long way to providing you peace of mind in your purchase process.
If you are in need of a home inspection in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and would like to receive a thorough and informative home inspection report, book your inspection by calling:
or schedule your home inspection online.