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The Home Inspection for Buyers

Posted on January 11, 2010 by tim in Buying, First Time Home Buyer, Inspection, Negotiation

In Cincinnati, Ohio the inspection period is typically the first 10 days after acceptance of the contract. This time frame – as with just about anything else in the contract can be negotiated as part of the offer. The contract states that it is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect *everything* about the property. This isn’t just the condition of the property. Your inspections should include the schools, HOA, utilities, square footage, services, crime statistics and anything else that could affect your decision to purchase the property. Per the contract the seller should provide the buyer with two forms:

1) A Lead Paint Disclosure 2) The Sellers Property Disclosure Statement. This is the statement of what the seller knows about the property.  If the seller has never lived in the property it can be difficult for them to have information about the property. The buyer will be required to initial receipt of this document. Initialing receipt does not mean that the buyer accepts what is in the document. You should be aware that if there is an underlying problem that the seller has not yet discovered – it would be impossible for the seller to disclose it.  The buyer should use the Property Disclosure to aid their inspection process. (Here is a sample of a blank Property Disclosure).

A professional inspection of the structure can take two to five hours depending on the size and age of the property. If possible, the buyer should plan to be present for the majority of the home inspection. Attending will give the inspector the opportunity to explain any issues noted in their report.  Due to liability issues the inspector is required to note every tiny thing that they find – no matter how minute or insignificant. Keep in mind, sometimes things sound a lot worse than they are.  Meeting with the inspector at the end of the inspection to go over the issues they have noted will help you understand the inspection report and the condition of the property. Most inspectors will be glad to answer your questions by phone as well. You are paying for the service – so don’t be shy about asking questions and getting verification.

Be sure to complete your inspections by the last day of the inspection period. There is a form that must be completed, signed by the buyer(s) and received by the seller’s agent no later than 11:59pm the last day of the inspection period (if the form isn’t received by that time your inspection automatically ends and you do not have the opportunity ask for repairs to be made.  You have to take the property “as is” or risk losing your earnest money).

When thinking about what you ask the seller to repair – is that item important enough to you that you are willing to cancel the contract and move on to another property if the seller refuses to fix it? The seller is not required to fix anything for you, but they will be required to disclose the problem to future prospective buyers.

There are currently a lot of Cincinnati properties being sold “As Is”.  This does not mean that you cannot have the property inspected – you should as you need to know what you are purchasing – it means that you may not ask for repairs.

If you have additional questions regarding the inspection process, please contact Team Annett at 513-527-3060 or teamannett@gmail.com .


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