Congrats! You have found the PERFECT home, you are excited and understandably overwhelmed at all that is coming your way in the coming month or so. Adulting. No fear, I got ya covered! It’s no secret the home buying process is a bit “busy” so what do you need to do to ensure success and ultimately get the home you want, it starts with INSPECTION. In fact, inspection is one of the very first deadlines you will have in your contract and typically happens within 7-10 days.
As excited as you are for your new home and all that you can do with it, first we need to make sure the home is in a sound condition and will not become a money pit in the near future.
Here is another #1 thing my buyers ask me… “Is this contract contingent on inspection?” In other words, I love the house but if the furnace is on its last leg, the water heater is rusting and there is mold…I would rather keep looking. Fair? ABSOLUTELY! Not only is it “fair”, it is CRITICAL.
The Colorado Real Estate contract states that the the buyer has the right to inspect. It also says the inspection is “subject to the buyers sole discretion.” What does that mean exactly? It means that YOU as the buyer have the power to determine if the house “passes or fails”. If there is a gas leak, you can still buy the home (I mean, DON’T, but you *could). If you love the home enough to overlook all of its faults and they are things you can tackle on your own in the near future or items you would want to address/replace anyway, you can move forward in the contract and purchase the home! However, if you get an inspection and it reveals things you are concerned with or it reveals things that are not properly functioning, you have several options.
- You may ask the seller to have a professional repair the issues and provide you with a paid invoice before your walk thru.
- You may ask the seller to give you a credit for certain items and put that credit towards your closing costs or pre-paids (this is typically acceptable, however there are some instances where your lender may not allow such a credit and I will discuss that in another blog post.)
- You can terminate the contract if it is just too overwhelming or there are things you just CAN NOT live with. You do not need to disclose exactly what those items are to the seller, but you may and if you do, they are legally required to disclose to future buyers.
It is YOUR decision if you do a home inspection or not, but the fact is it is a SMART decision. Inspectors will look at all appliances, equipment that goes with the home, electric, plumbing (as best they can – sewer scope is not included with a general inspection but you can add that on to make sure the lines are clear), check the age and functionality of all of the systems and give you a detailed report and photos of what needs to be addressed. The inspection will take roughly 2-3 hours and it is a time where you can expect the seller to be gone from the home so you and the inspector can spend time talking about what you find. An inspector that will take time and answer your questions, hear your concerns and explain how you would fix issues and point you in a direction where you can find a professional to help you, is a valuable tool. Don’t worry, I have lots of tools in my tool-belt to help you!
When it comes to inspections, there are TWO things that are certain.
- There WILL be things! Even in new builds there are corners cut and things that need to be corrected and addressed! The idea is to pick the important things to you (and they do vary person to person) and make sure that you feel comfortable with the home you are selecting!
- EVERY inspector would go into a home and come out with a slightly different report. inspectors are licensed and educated, but the report and issues are somewhat subjective to who you have inspecting. It is their job to point out so you are as aware as possible with exactly WHAT you are buying. Obviously, they can only test and investigate what they can see (they can’t open drywall to look for mold BUT they can tell you if they see evidence of past water damage or possible mold if evident) and then we can take the information and investigate it further.
The buyer has the burden to inspect. It is your fee (the only thing besides your Earnest Money deposit paid before closing) and your option/responsibility to determine WHAT you want taken care of but one things for sure…the cost of an inspection ranges from $300-700 and it is worth.
The company I am now recommending is CBHI, Colorado’s Best Home Inspections and you can find a very helpful resource of common issues with Colorado homes and what do do about them by clicking HERE .