Congratulations on getting your offer approved on a new home! It’s an exciting first step to buying. Now that you've secured your offer, you’ll need an inspector to tell you what exactly you’re buying. To demystify the process, The REM Show
interviewed Timberline Inspections for a detailed look into inspections. Listen to the episode with Rebecca Donaldson to get a deeper understanding of the process from professionals.
We’ve also created an easy-to-follow guide to walk you through each step of the process. You’ll find with this list; you know what to do at every turn. Get the right inspector and ask the right questions so you are secure in your purchase when escrow finally closes.
Are inspections required?
You may ask yourself if you even need an inspection to buy a home. Technically speaking, the answer is no. Oregon doesn’t require a home inspection before purchase, regardless of whether you buy in cash or through a lender. Most lenders, however, will want you to ensure there’s no significant unknown damage to the home.
There are a lot of risks that come with buying a home. Without a thorough inspection, there’s no way for you to know if there are major issues with the house. Your inspector will look through the home with a fine-tooth comb. They’ll do the preliminary check on your pipes and sewage, look under your house for structural issues, and note whether or not your garage has an up-to-code door. Yes, some things they note won’t be important, but it’s best to discover electrical or piping issues before the final contract is drawn.
One of the great things about inspections is that they allow you to renegotiate your offer. After all, the state of a home impacts the value of a house
. While discovering something’s wrong with the place you’re dreaming of is disappointing, it can be a chance to lower the cost or to ensure the quality of a repair. So, while forgoing an inspection may sound like an excellent way to make your offer more competitive without putting more money down, it comes at a risk. It takes away opportunities to negotiate that number after all other offers are gone. Inspections give you power.
Ask for recommendations
Considering an inspection can significantly impact what you pay for, so it’s crucial to find an inspector you can trust. Start by asking your Salem or West Linn realtor for recommendations in the area. Your agent has the most experience with local inspectors and can give your firsthand accounts of the quality of their work.
You may also reach out to friends in your community who recently bought a home. They may be able to tell you who to go with or who to avoid altogether. Tapping into these resources allows you to find accurate information on the inspector. While the internet is full of reviews to consider, there’s no way for you to assess the reviewer. Talking to your community gives you both insights.
Check those certifications
Once you find an inspector, it’s crucial to verify their certification. Oregon certification
provides a unified process of ensuring an inspector knows what they’re doing. While accreditation doesn’t mean that they’re the best inspector for the job, it is one of the requirements.
With any major housework or inspection, you want to verify the qualification of the person doing the work. If you choose an inspector that your Westlin or Salem realtor recommends, they’ll be able to verify the certification themselves. If, however, you go with another option, you’ll need to look into it or ask your agent for help.
Not every inspector will allow you to stay for the entire inspection; however, it’s highly recommended if you can. You can see what they’re doing when they discover a problem, making the photos and descriptions on their report come to life. It’s also a great way to get to know your future home.
If you can’t attend the inspection, coordinate with the inspector to arrive when it’s finished. You’ll allow them to do their job more efficiently while letting yourself go over the home with the inspector. They may not walk you through every detail of the property, but they’ll likely know a few places where you’ll need a little help.
Ask all the questions
Asking questions is a great way to find out about the quirks of your new home. Over time, houses tend to get their own personalities, which can lead to unexpected placements or mechanisms. Even without quirks, there are a lot of essential questions to ask your inspector
Some things you may want to check in on are the insulation in the attic, if there is one. Find out if there’s anything you need to know about the HVAC system. It’s awful to catch yourself unaware during an extreme weather situation. You may also see if the inspector can provide tips for maintaining your property.
You’ll need to ask more fundamental questions about the report itself. How will they organize the info and prioritize issues? Is there any additional information that may further your understanding? Talk with your Salem or West Linn realtor to help determine the most important questions to ask ahead of time.
Yes, there may be more inspectors after your initial home inspection. If an electrical component or the plumbing fails the initial examination, you’ll likely need another. This time around, you’ll hire a specialist for the issue at hand. You’ll need an electrician for an electrical inspection, a plumber for any plumbing issues, and a carpenter to check your roof.
Roofs need regular repair and replacement. They’re also one of the largest expenses of maintaining a home. So, it’s crucial to be certain of the quality of your roof before finalizing your purchase. It’s a factor that may significantly impact the value of the home.
Once everything is out in the open, it’s time to restart that negotiation process. You have a slightly upper hand here compared to your original offer because there aren’t any competing offers. Of course, the owners have the option of rejecting it altogether, meaning restarting the process.
So, negotiate with your best interest in mind but don’t negotiate the offer right out of your hands. Your West Linn or Salem realtor is a significant asset in this process. They can tell you what’s a fair offer for the issues and whether or not you’re still getting a good market deal.
You have a few options here. You can lower your offer or ask to have the repairs covered. While some buyers may refuse both, there may be some furnishings in the home that can offset the cost and still make it worth it to you. This is a moment for creativity and quality accounting. Remember, you need your lender’s agreement on any offer you provide.
When the inspection is complete, save every piece of information you receive. Any repairs not fixed before purchase are something you’ll need to do in the future. A good inspector will rate the urgency of each issue, allowing you to determine how soon it needs repair.
Essentially your inspector’s report will become your home repair guide for the next few months or years. The reality is that you’ll likely decide a few of the noncritical issues don’t need repair at all. It’s the inspector's job to tell you what is and isn’t up to code. You’re in control of the response.
If you haven’t already found an agent you trust, now is the time. Handling these negotiations on your own gets tricky. Hiring an expert simplifies the process. Rebecca Donaldson’s
experience allows her to guide her clients through the process, ensuring they get the most home for their dollars. Don’t miss something crucial because you didn’t have the right help — contact Rebecca today!