After an inspector finishes their home report, buyers may feel overwhelmed by flaws they may have found. At this point, it's important for them to ask questions and learn more about the issues so that they can move forward confidently in the transaction.
Realtor.com recommends that homebuyers ask their inspector clarifying questions like: "I don't understand this; what does it mean?" or "Is this a major or minor problem?" and "Should I call in another expert for a follow-up?"
Home inspectors are bound to uncover something in a home – and no home is perfect. But the majority of the problems uncovered will likely be minor. Ask the home inspector to clarify which problems on his list would fall within the "minor" or "major" categories.
An inspector won't tell a buyer how to handle a specific problem, however. "The inspector can't tell you, 'Make sure the seller pays for this,' so be sure you understand what needs to be done," says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
If the inspector identifies a potentially major problem, consumers should follow up, and possibly call in an additional expert to investigate further. If an electrical issue was flagged, for example, consumers may need to bring in an electrician to take a closer look; or they made need a roofer if the inspector suspects a roofing problem. Those specialists can then give buyers an idea of the cost to fix something. Their real estate agent can then take that estimate to the seller and request a concession should the seller not want to fix it before the sale.
For the more minor problems discovered, Lesh says that the home inspector's list are issues the new buyer should address as soon as they move in. He says it's like a "to-do list" of items that did not get repaired by the seller prior to the sale.
Reprinted with permission Florida Realtors. All rights reserved.