Surviving the Home Inspection: A Buyer’s Guide

By
Real Estate Agent with Beringer Realty

Home InspectionSurviving the Home Inspection in Champaign IL: A Buyer's Guide

A buyer and a seller unable to come to an agreement on the repairs/credits following the home inspection is one of the top reasons that a real estate transaction falls apart, but it's been my experience that when both parties have reasonable expectations of themselves and the other party, an agreement CAN most often be reached.

So today we’ll talk about surviving the home inspection from the buyer’s perspective, then tomorrow we’ll address the home inspection from the seller’s point of view. A few tips for Champaign-Urbana home buyers...

  • First, don’t ever pass on having your future home inspected, even if it’s new construction. Just because the city’s inspectors write everything off as being up to code doesn’t mean there aren’t other issues that simply aren’t on their checklist!  A general inspector inspects homes from top to bottom for a living and will know what to look for.
  • The person doing the inspection should be a licensed inspector. Notice I did not say you should have your uncle, who’s known for being a fix-it kinda guy, swing by and take a quick look at the home, or have your best friend, who runs a car shop, check out the mechanicals. Ask your agent for recommendations of a reputable local inspector to hire.
  • Be prepared that the inspection report will NOT be a one-pager; instead, it will likely be anywhere from 15 to 25+ pages long depending on the size and age of the home. Don’t freak out before you start reading the report. Take a deep breath, start reading, and you’ll usually discover that many of the items are minor and easy to fix.
  • Along those lines, a home that is 80 years old will have far more issues than a home that is 5 years old and a much longer inspection report. If what you’re looking for is a home in nearly perfect condition, then you should probably plan on purchasing a newer home.
  • Realize that no home is perfect and it is unrealistic to expect the seller to fix everything on the report. I always suggest that buyers first focus on items that are either a safety hazard or if left as is would eventually cause damage (or more damage) to the home. If you're unsure about something on the report, pick up the phone and call the inspector!
  • Lastly, there are some times when it’s best to walk away from the sale after a particularly troublesome inspection, provided you’re within the contingency period that allows you to do so (check with your agent and/or your attorney). Just remember, the only way to find out if your best option is walking away is to...you guessed it... have the home inspected!!!

In most cases, when both parties have reasonable expectations, an agreement on repairs to be made will be reached and the buyer and seller will live happily ever after. Get that home inspected and then enjoy it with peace of mind in knowing that you made a great purchase :-)

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Shannon Lewis is a Realtor® and broker at Beringer Realty located in Urbana, Illinois. She and her partner, Debbie Hensleigh, help home buyers and sellers in Urbana, Champaign, Savoy, and many other surrounding communities.

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To contact Shannon with a question, for real estate assistance, or just to say "hey!":

call 217-552-8059, or email Shannon@HomeplaceAdvisors.com

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