Though this article focuses on buying, it can be of equal value to sellers who are preparing to list their home for sale.
The Buyer’s Home Inspection Process
You’ve reviewed homes for sale with the help of the internet and your REALTOR®. You may have also attended some open houses. You’ve pared it down to the best 8 or 10 and are now ready to go and inspect them.
You’re going to look at only 4 or 5 homes per appointment. That way you don’t become overwhelmed, possibly confused and even weary of looking.
Initially you want to get a basic feel for each home and its features. To short-list the homes to the best one or two, compare and contrast the homes while driving from house-to-house. By asking questions, a good REALTOR® can help you gain perspective during your selection, helping you drill down to your ideal home.
A good REALTOR® can also act as a 3rd eye during each inspection, giving you a balanced view. On the upside, he or she will help spot a home’s positive features and points of interest that can get missed. Conversely, he or she will look for possible unnoticed faults, such as:
- Any items that may need repair or attention, immediately or in the near future;
- Check for potential issues with mechanicals: furnace, plumbing and electrical system;
- Keep an eye out for structural issues: basement cracks and evidence of water or moisture, condition of windows and roof;
- Check grading around the home (is it sloped towards or away from the home).
It’s also important to discuss the neighbourhood.
- Does the home conform to other homes in the area?
- What’s the general care and condition of the properties surrounding the home?
These points of discussion don’t take long. Besides, upon a second look at the one or two homes most suitable, you can take more time.
What About What Sold?
To become even more knowledgeable about value, have your REALTOR® review comparable sales. With Buyer Representation, your salesperson has an obligation to examine market value with you. This exercise gives you confidence in buying and results in a smoother negotiation for all concerned.