The decision to buy a new home is exciting. You make the wise decision to hire a third party inspector who works for you. What are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your inspection?
1. Do the inspection BEFORE signing the mortgage paperwork. Sometimes clients call right before they go to sign the papers. After you sign most of your buying power is gone, and you may have to deal with repairs being made while you live in the mess.
2. Do the inspection BEFORE your final walk-through. People often think they can have the inspector on property at the same time as the walk-through with the builder. However, the inspector needs several hours to complete the assessment and write a report.
3. Have the inspection AFTER the appliances are installed. Make sure your builder knows the inspector is coming and verifies that appliances are installed. Inspectors find all kinds of crazy stuff with new appliances, like the dishwasher causing a flood. You get the full value for the inspection when installations are completed.
4. Be WARNED if the sales agent or builder is uncooperative when you discuss an unbiased inspector and your expectations. Some people do not like being held accountable. There are builder representatives that truly do care about their client’s safety. One builder stopped by our inspection and asked how it was going. We told him a few things, and he immediately called several people to correct those items. Now that’s customer service!
5. Ask if the builder offers a “blue tape” walk-through. Using blue painter’s tape on the areas to mark imperfections helps you to have a better final result. Mostly these are areas that need touch-up paint or sealant with paint. Most builders want you to be happy.
6. Hire a realtor to represent you! Builder’s sales agents are just that – they represent the builders, not you. Your realtor helps with financing and negotiating a better price or extras. Plus, the builder (seller) pays the buying agent’s commission. Especially in a seller’s market, realtors and inspectors are valuable resources.
7. Do an 11th Month Warranty Inspection if you failed to have your home inspected before buying. So many frustrated and remorseful buyers wish they had prevented the headaches caused by problems that could have been resolved earlier. Builder’s warranties often only cover major structural defects, HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Be sure to read the small print before buying!