9. Get a home inspection
Include an inspection contingency in your offer
In spite of how competitive the overall real estate market has been for buyers in the last few years, Taylor and Blanton still recommend that your offer include an inspection contingency to protect yourself from purchasing a home with a major issue that an inspector could have spotted.
Make it speedy
Taylor suggests you tee up a home inspector before submitting your offer. In that case, your agent can specify in the offer, for example, that you can complete the home inspection within one or two days. That way, the seller knows that even if you back out, the house will not have been off the market for long.
Plus, says Taylor, you can even ask your real estate agent to let the seller know you’re only looking for something that is major and not looking to nitpick, hopefully giving a seller confidence that you’re going to move forward quickly.
Consider writing into the offer a pre-agreed amount of seller-paid repairs
Blanton explains that in Florida, it’s common for purchase contracts (accepted offers) to state that the seller will pay up to a specified amount for repairs that come to light during a pre-purchase home inspection. However, he adds, once you have the inspection report in hand, you can still haggle, should the recommended repairs exceed that amount.
Why is a home inspection important?
Even if you already love the home, you won’t love it if you discover later that a major issue was undisclosed, concealed, or simply undiscovered when you purchased it.
In addition, the average buyer and the average real estate agent are not experts on the maintenance and condition of homes. A licensed home inspector, however, is trained to identify and assess conditions and problems with properties.
While a home inspection doesn’t guarantee that a property has no problems, it’s a worthwhile investment for your peace of mind and for protecting your very large investment of purchasing a home.
Get additional expert tips and guidance on home inspections at this HomeLight buyer resource page.
10. Negotiate repairs or credits
After the home inspection, you’ll have a short time (specified in the purchase agreement) to negotiate with the seller regarding which, if any, repairs they will complete before closing. Or, you may decide to ask for seller credits, a certain amount of money the seller gives you at closing, which can be used for the needed repairs.
If you cannot agree on repairs or credits within the specified time frame, you will not be obligated to proceed with the purchase of the house.
Your buyer’s agent will bring his or her experience to bear in helping you decide what to prioritize and how much to ask for — one of the many reasons it’s so helpful to have a professional in your corner.
11. Make a final walkthrough
You’re almost done! The day before (or within a few days of) closing on your home purchase, you and your agent will typically walk through the home one last time before it’s officially yours.