Every dollar counts when buying a new home and a thorough home inspection is a valuable tool during the negotiating process. Armed with information gleaned from the inspection, buyers can make a more informed buying decision:
- Should the purchase go forward as planned?
- Should the price be modified to include the cost of needed repairs?
- Should the offer be rescinded and the purchase canceled all together?
To get the most value from your home inspection, you should plan to do the following:
Hire Your Own Inspector
The home inspector should work for you and represent your interests. If you don’t know a home inspector in Philadelphia, you can get good recommendations from your real estate agent or from friends and family. Make certain that the inspector you hire is licensed, bonded, and has the requisite credentials and experience to get the job done right.
Do Your Own Inspection
Considering the magnitude and scope of a home purchase, it’s nevertheless often true that buyers have often only seen their prospective new home a handful of times. This is a big decision; take the time to do a thorough walk through of the house on your own before the official inspection; maybe even bring an extra set of eyes to help you. Make your own list of things you’d like addressed, repaired, or upgraded. This information plus the inspector’s report will help you in your final price negotiations with the seller.
Be Present at the Inspection
Buyers should always plan to attend the home inspection. Don’t rely on your realtor to represent you; be personally present and walk through the home along with the home inspector. Being present allows you to hear about concerns firsthand from the inspector, ask questions, and direct the inspector’s attention to areas where you have concerns.
Focus on the Important Stuff
After your inspections, personal and professional, you may have a long list of things you’d like done around the house. To maximize your negotiating power, focus on the big stuff. Be firm about remediating safety and health issues as well as problems with major systems in the home like the roof or the HVAC. And be realistic about what the seller will provide; they will likely do the bare minimum to meet your requirements, so be specific about your expectations.
Get to Know Your New Home
The two to four hours you spend with your home inspector just might be the most important hours of the entire buying process. Get the most value from an inspection by coming prepared and being smart about how you use the information during final negotiations. And don’t be afraid to walk away; sometimes the best deal is the one you don’t make.