Last Updated on March 27, 2021 by Kathy Rukat Smith
Today is “home inspection day” for one of my buyer clients. This day can be a particularly stressful day for the buyer, seller and the real estate agents. I thought I would take a few minutes to help you understand the home inspection process.
What do home inspections cover?
Your basic home inspection covers the major components of the home. If your new home has a pool, chimney or you have concerns about mold, radon, a septic tank, etc, you will need an additional inspection.
Homes DO NOT pass or fail inspections. Your inspector will let you know what (if anything) is wrong with the major components or could be a safety issue. A good inspector will provide you with a detailed home inspection report that includes pictures, an explanation and highlights to major issues in a summary. You will also need to pay your home inspector at the inspection or prior to the inspection.
What is the seller responsible for repairing? In SC, the seller is responsible for making sure the following systems are in operative condition.
- Heating system
- Air conditioning system
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
- Water supply system
- Water waste system
Also, the seller must make sure of the following…
- The roof is free of leaks and
- Address any environmental concerns
The home inspection is not the time to address cosmetic concerns. Those items should have been addressed during your initial offer and/or negotiations. For example, if the tile is cracked in the foyer, that is not a home inspection issue. You could ask the seller if they would be willing to repair the tile, but they are not bound by the contract to make the repair to the tile. Likewise, if the water heater is listed as 15 years old (at the end of the life expectancy) but still works, the seller is not bound to replace the water heater. On the other hand, if the water heater is not producing hot water, you can ask the seller to replace the water heater, repair it or give you a credit at closing.
You inspector will ask if he/she can share the report with your REALTOR. please say yes! ? That helps me help guide you through the home inspection negotiation process. Once you receive your home inspection, we will talk and decide what items (if any) you would like the seller to address. These items will be put in writing in the form of a Repair Addendum and sent to the listing agent. The time frame on when you will hear from the seller on the repairs will depend on what is in the contract.
I hope this explanation helped you in understanding the home inspection process. Let me know if you have any questions.