7 Steps to Buying a Home | Step 6: Perform Due Diligence
Once you have made an offer on a house and it was accepted, your next task is to decide if you would like to have the home inspected prior to closing.
More often than not, your Realtor may have made your offer already contingent on your approval of a satisfactory home inspection report. In the state of Idaho, the most common timeframe that most buyers ask for is between 7 to 10 business days to perform any and all inspections from the date your offer was accepted.
This inspection contingency allows you to either renegotiate the price you agreed to pay for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away if an agreement cannot be reached. Your Realtor can help advise you on the best course of action once the inspection has been performed.
How to Select a Home Inspector in Idaho:
Our Realtors have references of inspectors that we have worked with in the past that we can recommend to you. When choosing a home inspector there are five important factors to consider:
1. Qualifications – find out what is included in your home inspection and if the age or location of the property you are considering purchasing has any specific certifications or specialties needed.
2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
3. References – do your homework – the same advice goes with choosing your Realtor and lender, ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
4. Memberships – There is no licensing of home inspectors in the state of Idaho so we would suggest that you ask the home inspector about whether or not they are a member of any of the associations of home inspectors. These associations often have specific tests that members must pass and often continued training and education provided.
5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Ask what the liability of the inspector or the inspection company is once the inspection has been completed. While we work with some of the area's best inspectors, the inspector is only human, and it is possible that they might miss something when doing their job.
You may want to be present during the home inspection process and can certainly request this from your inspector. However, we would suggest that your inspector will do his best work if he isn’t distracted by too many questions while working. Many buyers choose to show up at the end of the inspection so that the inspector can give them a first hand, oral report and answer questions.
Most home inspections can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours depending on the property, the inspector, and the size and condition of the property.
The job of the home inspector is to makes sure the home you are about to purchase is in acceptable condition to you and to find any issues with the home that you may not have known, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace & chimney, the foundation and so much more.
They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Our advice to homebuyers is to always have a home inspection. The investment is well worth the cost and is much cheaper than the feeling of regret should something come up after closing.
While you are having your home inspection completed, your Realtor will also be working with your mortgage loan officer and title company to ensure things like the appraisal, title commitments, and your loan package are completed on time. Your mortgage lender will also send an appraiser out to the property to make sure the home's value meets the price you agreed to pay. Once you are past the home inspection, appraisal, and title check and everyone is in agreement; you are one step closer to closing on your new home!