At NewHomePrograms.com, we know that few things are as exciting as purchasing a new home.
Naturally, you want to complete the transaction without a hitch, and this is generally what happens. However, in some cases, a house that looks perfect on the surface could be hiding a range of unpleasant surprises, which is why it’s always best to take a closer look. And then, of course, there’s the question of who bears responsibility for issues that are unearthed—not to mention the costs.
To avoid any unpleasant surprises and to make your home purchase the right way, it’s prudent to take precautionary measures before signing the dotted line. Here is how to make it happen.
Get a home inspection.
It occurs more often than you might think—falling madly in love at first sight with a property, leading to abandoning all reason, and the sale is closed immediately. Unfortunately, a crucial part of the home buying process was skipped, and that is the home inspection. In many cases, buyers deliberately skip this step to save around $300 to $500 in inspection fees, which could end up costing them much more in the future.
As Forbes explains, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t skip a home inspection. Your safety and protection are the most obvious, of course, as a thorough inspection can reveal issues that may be deal-breakers. Moreover, it’s an insurance requirement in many cases. But beyond these, it can also be a powerful negotiating tool that you can use to your advantage.
Read the fine print.
After the property’s issues are laid out in black and white, you are now confronted by the question of who repairs these problems. More often than not, these details will be addressed in the offer contract, which is why it’s essential to fully read and understand what you’re getting into.
The truth is, there’s no real, one-size-fits-all standard. Rather, some contracts benefit buyers while others are the exact opposite. There are state laws that need to be considered, as well. But generally speaking, major issues like mold or problems with the HVAC system, for example, are the seller’s responsibility, while anything cosmetic in nature is the buyer’s. But ultimately, who pays for repairs should be ironed out between parties before moving forward.
Be prepared to negotiate.
In the absence of a clear-cut mandate on what fixes sellers pay for, AZCentral explains it may be an opportune time to make use of your negotiating skills. Indeed, resolving issues pertaining to home repairs can be fraught, but it’s nothing that level-headed negotiations and an expert REALTOR® can’t fix, especially when it’s in both the buyer’s and seller’s best interests to do so.
As an example, let’s again take into account HVAC problems due to advanced age and other causes that are uncovered after an inspection. This is definitely one area where negotiating will serve you as installing a HVAC system can be quite costly. In fact, you may be looking at as much as $6,820—or even twice that, for extreme cases. It’s important to know the expense that you’re up against to help in your negotiations. Ideally, the seller should shoulder this sort of expense, or at the very least, offer a reduction on the selling price.
Finally, it’s time to actually have those home repairs tackled. In an ideal world, sellers will respond to the request right away, but this doesn’t always happen. It’s important to understand the request for repair process and stick to a timeline. Alternatively, you as a home buyer can actually choose to ask for cash credit and get the repairs done yourself. Of course, this will include seeking out trustworthy contractors who can handle the job correctly. You’ll need to do a little research to find a reputable company; for example, sites like Angi.com can help you find a Houston-based plumber with great reviews and ratings from their previous customers.
Naturally, you’ll want all these details ironed out before you move in, too, so you can settle into your new home as soon as possible. Erring on the side of caution is not an easy thing to do when you’re raring to move in, but doing so can potentially save you a great deal of heartache and money in the long run. So heed these steps as you make this all-important home buying decision. You won’t regret it!
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