Home Inspections are something our parents did not have to deal with. Only ten years ago there were less than a few hundred inspectors in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area, while today there are close to 2500 licensed inspectors in the area. The current housing market along with the home buyer being more aware have made the North Texas home buyer , now more than ever, proceed with concern before committing the next home. Currently a number of home sellers are now hiring Home Inspectors and repair the property before they decide to place it on the market; this is still a small number. Usually the buyer is the one who hire the Home Inspector. An ever-increasing percentage of the homes that are purchased are having a Home Inspection as a part of the overall Real Estate agreement. Basically when an offer is placed on a home there is an option period that allows the buyer a certain number of days to get all the necessary inspections completed and request any repairs that are needed before closing. These repairs can vary from general maintenance issues to replacing major items like the HVAC system or the roof. Many sellers will adjust the sell price of the home instead of making any of the repairs. Appears to be straightforward right?
Murphy’s Law sometimes now applies. The Home Inspection Report can only be as good as the understanding and capabilities of your Home Inspector. When the Home Inspectors report is explained and any maintenance items or any deficient items that are noted are decided to be repaired. These items could range from broken floor tile to hazardous conditions that need immediate attention like gas leaks, electrical problems and other potential serious situations. This is the time where the decision is made to continue with the buying process or opt out. According to the Real estate guidelines the home owner are required to disclose in writing to the buyer any known property defects that are known.
Home inspections are not going away; they are a part of the home buying process. Real estate agent in Texas usually agree that shortly all lenders will require multiple inspections such as Home Inspections and Energy Audits before lending money on property.
The best advice I could give to home sellers would be to keep on top of the maintenance needs! Gutters missing? Drainage bad? It’s just a small deal know, but it will be a big deal in the next few years when the foundation cracks from water damage. Tree branches scraping your roof? That may cut the life expectancy of the shingles by fifteen years.
Don’t neglect old components! Is the hot water heater 20 years old? Replace it. Have your HVAC inspected twice yearly. Final word is you need to be pro-active. It’s your home so take care of it. Then someday when the home inspector knocks on the door you’ll be ready.
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