Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Marshall Community Center, Conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, September 21st, from 11am-2pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave).
So this week I do want to talk about something that has come up a couple of times recently… Inspections, Repairs, and what happens AFTER.. What do I mean about ‘after’ though? Well, first let’s talk about Inspections for just a bit…
It is my opinion that you shouldn’t waive the home inspection… it doesn’t matter if the home is brand new, or a 100 years old, you should ALWAYS have a home inspection done. After mutual acceptance of the offer (where both buyer & seller have agreed to all terms), the home goes into ‘pending’ status, and this is where your timelines start. In real estate we have a lot of timelines that we need to make sure we are meeting, and the inspection is a BIG one. From mutual acceptance you have 10 CALENDAR days to have the home inspection done, and to request any repairs from the seller. ‘Calendar Days’ being the key word words here. A few things to remember about the home inspection… the home inspector does need to be licensed in the state of Washington, but he’s usually not a contractor. What this means is that if you have something about the home that you have a concern about, we would want to request a licensed contractor to come look at it. If you are buying a used car, you would take that car to a mechanic to take a look at it, right? Is that mechanic going to find everything wrong with the car? Most likely not, but that mechanic can usually tell you pretty quickly if there is anything seriously wrong with vehicle in the short period they’re checking it out. As a potential buyer this will help you decide if you want to purchase that vehicle in its current condition, if you want to go back to the seller and re-negotiate, or if you maybe don’t want to buy that car at all. This is a lot like a home inspection. You are purchasing a ‘used’ home … nothing more, and nothing less. This is not ‘Holmes on Homes’, and the inspector can’t do anything invasive to the home. During the home inspection you are having a ‘house mechanic’ take a quick look at the home to see what they can find about it that you can use to decide if you want to continue with the purchase of the home with the home in its current condition, if you want to go back to the seller and re-negotiate for some repairs, or if you want to back out of the purchase of the home inspection. Just like a mechanic though there are good ones out there and some … well….some not so good. You can always ask your Realtor if they have any inspectors they could refer you to, or ask family/friends. I will give you a list of questions to ask too.
Just like a vehicle mechanic though, even with good ones… sometimes they don’t catch things. Most inspections are only a couple of hours and again, it’s visual. You will find more things as you live in the home… just like you find things once you actually start driving the car regularly. You are going to live in that home differently than the last home owner did…just like you are going to drive the car differently than the last owner did. The goal of BOTH inspections is to hopefully catch anything ‘major’…anything that could affect the health and/or safety of the home or the occupants, and anything that could require the assistance of a licensed contractor. During the home inspection there is a very good chance the home inspector IS going to talk with you about things in the home that you should be aware of as a homeowner. Some of these items are going to be things to ‘keep an eye on’ for future repair, some of these items may just be things you ‘need to know’…informational things…, and some of these things may be items that need repair now. YOU should be at the home inspection, and your AGENT should be at the home inspection as well. We can’t help you if we aren’t there… and we are here to help you. You, and your agent, will talk about the home inspection and what (if any) repair requests you would like to send to the sellers for their consideration. There are going to be things that you will be needing (or wanting) to do as a homeowner when you move in, so what we’re looking for at the home inspection is anything that (again) is going to affect the health/safety of the home, or the occupants… or that is going to need to be looked at/repaired by a licensed contractor.
After the home inspection (I usually advise my clients to respond with the inspection repairs within 24 hours at the most), you need to decide if you are ok with the home in its current condition and what to continue forward to closing, if you just want to back out of the purchase based on the information from the home inspection, or if you want to request any repairs from the seller. In 99% of the cases, this is what happens…. you have talked to the inspector,you have seen the report, you have talked with your agent and you are ok with some things at the home inspection, but there are some items you want repaired. Your agent then sends that form with the information of those items to the sellers agent to go over with the seller. The seller has 3 days to respond. The seller may come back and say, ‘we will do no repairs…buy as-is, or back out’, or the seller may say, “we will do all the repairs and we move forward to closing’, or the seller (as usually happens) might say, ” we will repair items 1, 2, and 4, but not 3, 5, and 6…and we’ll do item #7, but changing it to this”. The sellers agent will send this information back to your agent, and then You and your agent will discuss your response…. Are you ok with the sellers response? Are you not ok? Do you want to continue forward to closing? Do you want to back out? …or maybe you want to counter their response? See… re-negotiating…. However, if both parties can not come to an agreement then the deal does fall apart and dies. You will get your earnest money back as that is a legal reason to back out (as long as you didn’t waive your home inspection), but you will lose the money you paid to the home inspector for the inspection.
So, home inspectors and home inspections… remember that the wet and rainy weather is coming and that this is a GREAT time for home inspections! We get a lot of rain here so that type of Washington weather is the best time to see if there are any water/moisture issues in, or UNDER the home.
Some other inspections that you might want to consider is a sewer scope. This is where a plumber comes out and puts a camera down the sewer/septic lines to make sure they are clear of obstructions. It is an additional cost of usually about $150. If the home is on septic, request a septic report/inspection that is one year or less of age. The septic inspection just checks the tank, and it’s ability to do its job. It doesn’t test/check to pipes going from the home to the tank itself. A sewer scope can help a lot here. Yes, it is another charge, but it’s a safe one.
What happens AFTER the home inspection (are re-inspections important)?
What do I need to buy a home,
What if I don’t have a Down Payment?
Pre-Approvals…what, why… and the importance of getting one
Real Estate broker
Re/Max – Van Mall
360/ 903-3504 cell
360/ 882-3600 fax
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
– Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 – 1999).