Don’t Take a Home Inspection for Granted

Buying a home is often one of the most fulfilling experiences for you and your family. It can be stressful sifting through the market and finding a fit, but, in the end, it’s all about finding a safe and proper place for your family to spend time together.

If you’re ready to sign contracts and see the light at the end of the tunnel in your real estate journey in Illinois, the home inspection is one of the most important aspects of your home purchase.

Some buyers make the mistake of letting a cursory walkthrough suffice instead of committing to a thorough inspection of every aspect of the home. Don’t let this be you. We want to make sure you’re prepared to get your inspection right to avoid any costly fixes down the road.

Know the timeline

Both you and the seller are likely ready for the whole process to wrap up, but it’s important not to just rush yourself through the process. This will only put all the risk of home issues on your shoulders.

Most Illinois real estate contracts will have a window of five business days for you to complete the inspection of the home. Before you sign the contract, you should already have in mind how you’re going to approach the inspection and who will be on hand for it.

Hire an inspector

Even if you have extensive experience handling DIY projects around the house and have purchased homes before, you should lean on the expertise of a professional inspector. They will have the know-how to look for commonly-missed issues and will be your best resource for protecting yourself from hidden problems.

Modern renovations are often just facelifts for homes to turn a quick profit. A professional inspector can tell the difference between some superficial “renovations” that are just done to cover underlying issues with the home and meaningful renovations. Don’t make the mistake of falling for these quick and easy makeovers on older homes.

Prepare for repairs

Ideally, the inspection will find no real issues and you can move forward with the purchase without disrupting the process. If issues are found, though, you have a decision to make.

When issues arise during an inspection, the buyer can request that the seller handle the repairs. Under the best case scenario, the seller will agree to make the repairs or at least the majority of repairs.  

You may also choose to take care of the repairs yourself. In this case, your attorney will try to negotiate a repair credit that will be given to you at closing to cover the costs of the repairs you’ve decided to undertake yourself.

The most unfortunate scenario would be if you find issues with the home that would be too costly for you to move forward with the purchase. These can be issues such as a foundational problem that would be costly and take a long time to repair or extensive mold issues that will require significant work inside the walls and ceilings of the home. If you’re not comfortable with significant issues found during the inspection, you have the right to terminate the contract and have your earnest money deposit returned.  .

Understand liability

Even the most thorough inspections can miss some issues in a home, but who is liable for issues found after the inspection? The answer depends on the nature of the issue and what the seller’s disclosure forms indicate about the home.

If the seller was genuinely not aware of an issue and it could have reasonably been found by an inspector, the inspector will face liability. This is why inspectors have their own insurance. You will need to file a claim against them to get any reimbursement unless they agree to handle the problem.

If the issue is likely to have been known to the seller then the seller may be on the hook for at least some liability. If you move into your home and discover deep issues that only the resident of the home could reasonably ascertain, you will need to work with the seller to cover any issues.

Work with your attorney

In Illinois, attorneys should know the importance of the inspection process. It’s one of the most important steps of finalizing any real estate transaction.

At Velazquez Consumer Law, LLC we can help you prepare for all of the steps of your real estate purchase or sale. We provide solutions to shield you from surprises. Contact our team if you are going to purchase or sell a house so that we can help you with all stages of the negotiations.

The following two tabs change content below.

Velazquez Consumer Law

Central to our firm is the empathetic and compassionate service we give each client that allows us to fully understand your situation and goals. Above all, our responsive and hands-on approach to your legal issues yields actual results.

Latest posts by Velazquez Consumer Law (see all)

%d bloggers like this: