Friday, April 12, 2019 / by Sara Koenig
The Home Inspection process
You've entered into a contract, and now what...INSPECTION COMES....But don't worry....I’ve got you!
First the process and the computation of time...Here in Washington according to our contract the buyer in a residential purchase and sale typically has a ten day window to conduct a home inspection from the day of mutual acceptance (Day that both Seller and Buyer have signed and agreed to all terms). This period can be shortened or lengthened of course, but the average time frame is ten days. Since this deadline is more than five days it does include weekend days when counting, so remember that. Also be sure to talk to your broker about inspection items that can be included like a sewer inspection or a radon test as well.
If you are purchasing land there are several different items that can be covered during inspection and you should walk through every one with your agent and determine reasonable timelines for completion of these so that you feel confident that the land is feasible for the use that you intend.
The inspection is the second point of negotiation in a purchase and sale following the offer and acceptance. The inspection is something that the buyer and most likely the buyer's agent will attend together. This is an opportunity for the buyer to learn about all of the systems in the home and also find out if there are any issues that may pose a health or safety risk.
Buyer’s can select the inspector that they choose, and if you don’t have one, you can always ask your broker for a few recommendations from inspectors that they have had a good experience with and call them. The inspection is a service that is paid for by the buyer in a transaction, not the seller. However, in land inspections there are some items that can be paid for by either party.
Once you receive the full inspection report it is important to review everything and determine if there are issues that as a buyer, you would like to ask the seller to remedy. The main items to remember when requesting these are whether they address health and safety issues first and foremost. These are the items that should be asked for remedy by the seller. Secondly as a buyer, you should look for any failing areas of the home. Perhaps the seller has not maintained the exterior of the home, or systems such as the HVAC or fireplace. These are other good items to ask for in an inspection response. Always work with your broker if you have questions regarding what to ask for. Depending on the market you are in, i.e. Buyer’s market vs. Seller’s market, your broker will advise you on what is reasonable and what is not.
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Following the submission of your 35R which is your inspection response, the seller will have three days to respond to you and they can do one of the following things:
- Agree to all requests by buyer.
- Agree to some of the requests by buyer, but not all.
- Reject all requests and suggest another remedy such as a price reduction
- Completely disagree to all requests.
As a buyer, you then have another opportunity to agree or respond back one more time. This is another opportunity to discuss with your broker what is important to you, and what you are okay accepting if the seller chose something other than agreeing to all repairs.
The inspection process can be a stressful one for both buyer as well as seller. Sometimes as a buyer you might even find following inspection that the home just is not worth it, and you are uncomfortable with the results. This is why as a buyer you have the inspection contingency attached to your offer. You can let the seller know that you disprove of the inspection and terminate the offer based on inspection and as a buyer you will get your earnest money back. This contingency really protects you within that initial ten day window following mutual acceptance.
Always remember that your broker is your advocate and there to represent your best interest. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to them and ask for their guidance and advice navigating this portion of the contract.
As always, please post any questions or comments, I am happy to answer them!
An if it's time to search for your dream home, let's get together and make it happen!
Sara Koenig | Broker