Buying a home is a big financial commitment, so you want to make sure the home you buy will withstand the test of time. That's why it's always a good idea to get a home inspection report before you commit to a new home purchase.
There are many ways a home inspection report can save you both time and money throughout the home buying process. In fact, a recent survey of home buyers found that those leveraging a home inspection report helped them save over $14,000 on average on their total home purchase.
Buyers aren’t the only ones that can benefit from having a home inspection completed. Home inspections can also be a beneficial resource if you are a homeowner looking to sell. Not only can it help you identify property condition issues before you list, but it can also make you feel more confident in your listing price.
Whether you are buying or selling a home, electing for a home inspection report is always a good decision. Let’s review some of the best ways to use a home inspection report to your advantage.
Benefits of Having a Home Inspection Report
Generally, home inspections are not a requirement to buy a new home, although 88% of all homebuyers used an inspector throughout their home buying process.1 On average, a home inspection will cost between $300-500.1
Nevertheless, having a home inspection report in hand can offer a myriad of benefits. Here are a few ways buyers and sellers alike can leverage home inspection reports.
Home Inspection Report Tips for Buyers
1. Enforcement of Remedies and Repairs
Many real estate professionals recommend buyers get a home inspection before they commit to a new home purchase. A home inspection helps identify property condition issues that may not be apparent at first glance, helping you avoid costly repair bills.
In fact, some states have specific laws that require sellers to remedy or pay for repairs if certain defects are found through a home inspection. Some states require things like water damage or mold infestation to be remedied so the property meets certain health and safety standards. Other items like missing or faulty smoke detectors could be enforceable repairs under state law.
2. Offers More Negotiating Power
Having a home inspection report in hand can also offer you more negotiating power when buying a new home. If your offer is contingent on a clean home inspection, any major defects could be caused to renegotiate a lower purchase price.
If the sellers won’t budge on the purchase price, there are other ways to leverage a home inspection report to your advantage. For example, you could request the cost of certain defects be paid for and held in escrow to be disbursed post-closing.
Alternatively, you could request a seller’s credit in lieu of repairs that can help offset your other out-of-pocket costs. Another idea is to ask for a seller-paid home warranty which can help cover repair costs for certain home features.
Home Inspection Report Tips for Sellers
3. Fewer Condition-Related Surprises
Smart sellers should consider getting a pre-listing home inspection before making the decision to put their home on the market. Getting a home inspection early will help identify potential issues before buyers even have a chance to tour your property.
A pre-listing home inspection allows you to complete repairs ahead of time before buyers obtain their own home inspection and try to renegotiate. This is especially relevant if the home you are trying to sell is older.
Your inspection report can also help you disseminate which items are truly defects and which are more cosmetic items. This can help you rebuff buyer demands for repairs or concessions, saving you money.
It can even help you identify which repairs can be escrowed for and which cannot, assuming repairs are necessary and require remedy.
In some cases, offering buyers a copy of your home inspection upfront may entice them to waive their own home inspection contingency, since electing for a buyer’s home inspection is not free. It also demonstrates transparency in the sales process. One app that is currently showcasing this process is closr. The closr app is designed to provide a unique buying experience by standardizing inspections reports to provide an accurate standpoint during the home buying process.
4. Smoother Transaction and Faster Closing
When buyers elect for a home inspection contingency, it adds an additional step to the home buying process. Subsequently, this also extends your expected closing date.
In some cases, selling your home fast is as equally important as netting big profits. You may be relocating for work or simultaneously purchasing a new home and need to close by a certain due date.
Electing to get a pre-listing home inspection could help grease the wheels and accelerate the home buying process. It can make the overall sales process much smoother for all parties involved and allow you to get to the closing table faster.