As a home buyer, the excitement you feel after finally finding your dream home and having it under contract is hard to temper. As the Designated Broker here at Tru Realty, I want to ensure that you can celebrate a safe and successful home purchase after a few simple, but important, steps. At this point in the process of buying a home, it’s time for you to do your due diligence with a home inspection.
I know, it’s not as exciting as thinking about how you’re going to decorate your new home. However, without a thorough home inspection, you may not have a new home to furnish after all.
What is a home inspection and what do I need to know?
Let’s take a closer look into the process … At their cost, the buyer has the right to investigate the condition of a home (premises) before the purchase is final. The buyer can hire a professional home inspector, termite inspector, and any other type of inspector they deem necessary to ascertain the condition of anything material that affects the house or property.
The Home Inspection
First of all, a home inspection is a visual examination of the accessible home systems. Since the buyer does not yet own the home, the inspector is not permitted to do “invasive” inspections. They can’t make a hole in the wall to see what’s behind it or dismantle mechanical items. The inspector is to look for structural and safety issues with the dwelling, not address normal wear and tear or cosmetic items. The inspectors are there to look at the structures interior and exterior including but not limited to plumbing, electrical, roofing, heating, air conditioning, insulation, ventilation, etc.
The listing agent needs to prepare the seller for the inspection. The seller should have all utilities on and all areas of the property accessible. If the seller has the garage packed to the rafters with boxes, the inspector will be unable to check outlets, water heaters, and other garage features. This can delay the process.
The buyer may ask for recommendations for home inspectors. The buyer’s Realtor should always provide the buyer with a list of inspectors and let the buyer choose. The seller may want details about the process when they hear that a home inspector is coming to visit so it’s important for all parties to have a basic understanding of home inspections.
The buyer and buyer’s agent should attend the home inspection. Buyers should hire an inspector who states only the facts and is thorough. The home inspector is to be a neutral third-party hired to follow state approved home inspection guidelines. They are hired by the buyer to ensure the house is safe and sound. All home inspectors must provide a written report to the client that is in compliance with the Standards of Professional Practice for Arizona Home Inspectors. These standards explain what a home inspector has to do and what an inspector does not have to do.
What if the inspector finds something the seller did not disclose? Sellers in Arizona are required to complete a seller disclosure document. They should disclose any latent defects that they are aware of. A latent defect is a fault in the property that could not have been discovered by a reasonably thorough inspection before the sale. Often issues identified in a home inspection are things the seller is unaware of. In the event the sale does not go through, the seller must disclose new found items to any new buyer.
Buyer and Seller Obligations
When utilizing the AAR purchase contract, the Buyer’s Inspection Period shall be ten (10) days or any otherwise negotiated time frame after contract acceptance. Buyer at buyer’s expense, shall have the opportunity to conduct all desired physical, environmental, and other types of inspections. This includes investigations to determine the value and condition of the premises. It also includes making inquiries and/or consulting with government agencies, lenders, insurance agents, architects, and other appropriate persons and entities concerning the suitability of the premises and the surrounding area of anything material to the buyer.
Prior to expiration of the Inspection Period, the buyer may deliver to the seller a signed notice of any disapproved items. This is done solely at the buyer’s discretion. If the buyer disapproves of items, the buyer must elect to either cancel the contract or provide the seller an opportunity to correct the items.
If the buyer provides the seller an opportunity to correct the disapproved items, the seller must then respond within five days (or as otherwise provided). If the seller agrees in writing to correct any of the items, repairs must be completed in a workmanlike manner and any paid receipts delivered to the buyer three days (or as otherwise provided) prior to the close of escrow date.
If the seller is unwilling or unable to correct any of the items disapproved, the buyer may cancel the contract within five days. If the buyer does not cancel the contract, the buyer is obligated to close escrow without correction of those items that the seller has not agreed in writing to correct.
The buyer will have the opportunity to complete a final walkthrough of the property prior to closing. One of the reasons for the walkthrough is to ensure any and all requested repairs have been made by the seller.
As always, Tru Realty is here as a resource for anyone needing guidance throughout the home buying and selling process. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at Barry@TruRealty.com.
Barry Nicholas is the Designated Broker at Tru Realty. He currently has active broker’s licenses in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma and is a graduate of the Realtor Institute. He also holds the Certified Residential Specialist Designation. Barry provides his clients with the expertise and acumen that addresses the ever-changing trends in home sales, property marketing, and real estate technology. As your Broker, he views customer service as his utmost priority.