The whole process of home inspections can be both irritating and intimidating for sellers. Perfect strangers knock on your front door and then traipse around your house poking into everything, even clambering up on your roof. It can seem like an invasion of privacy, and added to that is the nail-biting nervousness of not knowing what kind of problem they’ll turn up. If you play it cool and pass, though, you can get a much better sale price for your home. To help you manage, then, here’s our guide for home inspections in Santa Clara County.
The Home Inspections Process
Today, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), almost four of every five homes sold nation-wide is inspected by a professional. It’s simply a protection measure for buyers, so nearly all purchase contracts now contain an inspection contingency clause.
Since 1976, home inspections have been standardized by the ASHI’s publication of Standards of Practice that dictate just what is to be inspected and measures to be taken to report findings. A basic inspection includes an evaluation of these 10 areas:
- Air conditioning
- Insulation and ventilation
The ASHI Standards of Practice also detail what inspectors have to examine within these 10 basic areas and what they are allowed to exclude. When evaluating a roof, for example, an inspector has to examine the shingles, vents, flashing, skylights, chimneys, and guttering. The inspector, however, is not required to look inside chimneys or inspect antennas.
On completion of home inspections in Santa Clara County, the inspector then reports the findings to the buyer. Inspection reports include problems that need immediate attention and usually conditions that can lead to problems in the future.
The Process After Home Inspections in Santa Clara County
In most cases, what has to happen after an inspection is detailed in the contingency clause in the sales contract. If the inspection reveals any problem, further negotiating is usually the next step.
Suppose, for example, the inspection indicates that a new roof is urgently needed. In such a scenario, the buyer will request a new roof before the sale or a substantial amount knocked off the sale price. The seller can, in return, offer to pay part of the closing costs for a sale price reduced by less than the buyer first requests. And so it goes until a satisfactory negotiations agreement is reached.
The Proactive Approach
The best approach for passing home inspections in Santa Clara County is to be proactive. Taking care of seemingly minor issues may incline the inspector to look at larger matters with a more forgiving eye. You should also keep in mind that when you list your home, you are entering a competitive market, and you need to package the product you’re selling – your home – to make it as appealing as possible.
So begin by painting and doing some judicious landscaping for that all-important curb appeal to create a good first impression. Then you can address minor issues and repairs like loose steps, deteriorating trim, and loose guttering. And do be sure to replace missing shingles, and check the flashing around, say, chimneys.
Next, you’ll want to consider the bigger things that the inspector will surely examine closely. Go over your HVAC system, the plumbing and wiring, and, of course, the roof. If you find anything that needs attention before the inspection, you may be able to get the repairs done at a lower cost with your own contractor and without the rush. In any case, taking care of as much as possible ahead of time will make the inspection go much more smoothly.
When all is said and done, home inspections in Santa Clara County don’t have to be so aggravating and frightening – if you know what to expect and prepare beforehand.