What You Need to Know Before Accepting — or Rejecting — an Offer

What You Need to Know Before Accepting — or Rejecting — an Offer

What You Need to Know Before Accepting — or Rejecting — an Offer

By: HouseLogic

It’s not always about the money (except when it is).

The day will come — and it will be a wonderful, joyous, do-a-happy-dance day — when you receive an offer, or multiple offers, for your home.

And on that day, you’re going to face a question you may not have previously considered: How do you know if an offer is the best one for you?

Your listing agent will be a big help here. They will understand and help you suss out the merits and faults  of an offer because — believe it or not — it’s not always about price.

One buyer’s beautifully high offer might not look so good anymore, for example, if you discover that it’s contingent upon you moving out a month earlier than planned. Or, conversely, you may prefer speed over price, particularly if you’re moving to a new city.

Your listing agent will have a sense  of what you want financially and personally — and can help you determine whether the offer at hand satisfies those goals.

Before the first offer rolls in, here’s what you need to know about the offer evaluation process, including the main factors that should go into making a decision — accept or reject? — with your agent.

5 Important Things — Other Than Price — to Consider When Evaluating an Offer

Want to fetch top dollar for your home and walk away with as much money in your pocket as possible? Of course you do. You’ve gone through the time-consuming process of setting your asking price, staging your home, promoting your listing, and preparing for open houses — and should be rewarded for your efforts.

Your first instinct may be to just pick the highest bid on the table. But the offer price isn’t the only thing worth considering.

When vetting offers, evaluate these five areas in addition to price:

  1. The earnest money deposit. One important consideration when weighing an offer is the size of the earnest money deposit. The EMD is the sum of cash the buyer is offering to fork over when the sales agreement is signed to show the person is serious (i.e., “earnest”) about buying your home. This money, which is typically held by a title company, will go toward the buyer’s down payment at closing.

A standard EMD is 1% to 3% of the cost of the home (so, that would be $2,000 to $6,000 on a $200,000 house). If a buyer tries to back out of an offer for no good reason, the seller typically keeps the EMD. Therefore, the higher the earnest money, the stronger the offer.

  1. The contingencies. Most offers have contingencies — provisions that must be met for the transaction to go through, or the buyer is entitled to walk away from the deal with their earnest money. Contracts with fewer contingencies are more likely to reach closing, and in a timely fashion.  

Here are five of the most common contingencies:

  • Home inspection contingency. This gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected and request repairs by a certain date — typically within five to seven days of the purchase agreement being signed. Depending on where you live, you may be required to make home repairs for structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues. Most repair requests are negotiable, though, so you have the option to haggle over which fixes you’re willing to make.
  • Appraisal contingency. For a mortgage lender to approve a home buyer’s loan, the home must pass appraisal — a process during which the property’s value is assessed by a neutral third party. The appraisal verifies that the home is worth at least enough money to cover the price of the mortgage. (In the event the buyer can’t make their mortgage payments, the lender can foreclose on the home and sell the property to recoup all — or at least some — of its costs.) Generally, the home buyer is responsible for paying for the appraisal, which typically takes place within 14 days of the sales contract being signed.
  • Financing contingency. Also called a loan contingency or mortgage contingency, a financing contingency protects the buyer in the event their lender doesn’t approve their mortgage. Although the timeframe for financing contingencies can vary, mortgage lenders report that buyers generally have about 21 days to obtain mortgage approval.
  • Sale of current home contingency. Depending on the buyer’s financial situation, their offer may be contingent on the sale of their home. Usually, buyers have a window of 30 to 90 days to sell their house before the sales agreement is voided. This contingency puts you, the seller, at a disadvantage because you can’t control whether the buyer sells their house in time.
  • Title contingency. Before approving a mortgage, a lender will require the borrower to “clear title” — a process in which the buyer’s title company reviews any potential easements or agreements that are on public record. This ensures the buyer is becoming the rightful owner of the property and the lender is protected from ownership claims over liens, fraudulent claims from previous owners, clerical problems in courthouse documents, or forged signatures.

These contingencies are standard for most real estate sales contracts. There’s one exception: the sale of current home contingency, which tends to be used more often in strong buyer’s markets, when buyers have greater leverage over sellers.

That being said, contingencies are always negotiable. (The caveat: Mortgage lenders require borrowers to have appraisal financing contingencies, or they won’t approve the loan.) It’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable agreeing to, and your agent can help you make that decision.

  1. The down payment. Depending on the type of mortgage, the buyer must make a down payment on the house — and the size of that down payment can affect the strength of the offer. In most cases, a buyer’s down payment amount is related to the home loan they’re taking out. Your chief concern as a seller, of course, is for the transaction to close — and for that to happen, the buyer’s mortgage has be approved.

Generally, a larger down payment signals the buyer’s financial wherewithal to complete the sale. The average down payment, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is 10%. Some mortgage products, such as FHA and VA loans, allow for even lower down payments.

If, by chance, the appraisal comes in higher than your contract’s sale price, the buyer with a higher down payment would more likely be able to cover the difference with the large amount of cash they have available.

  1. The all-cash offer. The more cash the buyer plunks down, the more likely the lender is to approve their loan. That’s why an all-cash offer is ideal for both parties. The buyer doesn’t have to fulfill an appraisal contingency — whereby their lender has the home appraised to make sure the property value is large enough to cover the mortgage — or a financing contingency, which requires buyers to obtain mortgage approval within a certain number of days. As always, having a sales contract with fewer contingencies means there are fewer ways for the deal to fall through.
  2. The closing date. Settlement, or “closing,” is the day when both parties sign the final paperwork and make the sale official. Typically, the whole process — from accepting an offer to closing — takes between 30 and 60 days; however, the average closing time is 42 days, according to a report from mortgage software company Ellie Mae.

Three days before closing, the buyer receives a closing disclosure from the lender, which he compares with the loan estimate he received when he applied for the loan. If there are material differences between the buyer’s loan estimate and closing disclosure, the closing can’t happen until those amounts are reviewed and approved. But this is rare.

Some transactions can take more time, depending on the buyer’s financing. For example, the average closing time for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is 43 days, according to Ellie Mae.

Whether you want a slow or quick settlement will depend on your circumstances. If you’ve already purchased your next home, for instance, you probably want to close as soon as possible. On the other hand, you may want a longer closing period — say, 60 days — if you need the proceeds from the sale to purchase your new home.

When Should You Make a Counteroffer?

Depending on the circumstances, you may be in the position to make a counteroffer. But every transaction is different, based on the particular market conditions and your home. In some circumstances, you can be gutsy with your counteroffer. In others, it might serve your goals better to give in to the buyer’s demands. Your agent can provide helpful insight about when and why a counteroffer will be the right thing for you.

For instance: If you’re in a seller’s market — meaning that homes are selling quickly and for more than the asking prices — and you received multiple offers, your agent may recommend you counteroffer with an amount higher than you would have in a buyer’s market.

If you choose to write a counteroffer, your agent will negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the best deal for you.

A caveat: In many states sellers can’t legally make a counteroffer to more than one buyer at the same time, since they’re obligated to sign a purchase agreement if a buyer accepts the new offer.

When Does an Offer Become a Contract?

In a nutshell, a deal is under contract when the buyer’s offer (or seller’s counteroffer) is agreed upon and signed by both parties. At that point, the clock starts ticking for the home buyer’s contingencies — and for the sweet moment when the cash — and home — is yours.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida
#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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AVENTURA REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (05-18-18)

05-18-2018 Aventura 1

 

AVENTURA REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of May 18, 2018

05-18-2018 Aventura 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN AVENTURA .

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

 

Aventura Marina 1

Aventura Marina Condominium

The City of Aventura is a preferred community when it comes to residency. The city offers great community facilities for residents and is a great location for luxury waterfront condominiums. The Aventura Marina Condominium is one of the family friendly homes in the community that offers luxury and convenience. It is a waterfront luxury condominium with direct access to the ocean and has a has private marina.

Aventura Marina 2

Appreciate the lovely Mediterranean Architectural designed Aventura Marina Condominium which is an 18-story building that accommodates 126 units and welcomes pets with restriction. For privacy and convenience, there are only 3 units per floor with two elevators. These units offer a magnificent view of the ocean and bay. Take a refreshing dip in their resort style pool with sun deck for relaxing after a swim. Get fit in their fitness center and spa with a top of the line facilities and expert spa professionals. Each unit features carpet floors in the living area, ceramic tile in the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom, appliances included dryer and washer, European style cabinetry with granite countertops and Roman tub in master bathroom. Moreover, the units have large open air terraces with glass panelled railings, installed with impact resistant solar tinted glass and more interesting features that makes living in Aventura Marina worthwhile.

Aventura Marina 3

Don’t miss a great opportunity to own a waterfront condominium unit situated in a great community that is perfect for the family. You may also check on the Aventura Marina II.

#RealEstate #RealEstateSouthFlorida #RealEstateAventura

Check out homes for sale in Aventura. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

 

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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7 Tips for a Profitable Home Closing

7 Tips for a Profitable Home Closing

7 Tips for a Profitable Home Closing

Be sure you’re walking away with all the money you’re entitled to from the sale of your home.

When you’re ready to close on the sale of your home and move to your new home, you may be so close to the finish line that you coast, thinking there’s nothing left for you to do. Not so fast. It’s easy to waste a few dollars here and for mistakes to creep into your closing documents there, all adding up to a bundle of lost profit. Spot money-losing problems with these seven tips.

1.  Take services out of your name.

Avoid a dispute with the buyers after closing over things like fees for the cable service you forgot to discontinue. Contact every utility and service provider to end or transfer service to your new address as of the closing date.

If you’re on an automatic-fill schedule for heating oil or propane, don’t pay for a pre-closing refill that provides free fuel for the new owner. Contact your insurer to terminate coverage on your old home, get coverage on your new home, and ask whether you’re entitled to a refund of prepaid premium.

2.  Spread the word on your change of address.

Provide the post office with your forwarding address two to four weeks before the closing. Also notify credit card companies, publication subscription departments, friends and family, and your financial institutions of your new address.

3.  Manage the movers.

Scrutinize your moving company’s estimate. If you’re making a long-distance move, which is often billed according to weight, note the weight of your property and watch so the movers don’t use excessive padding to boost the weight. Also check with your homeowners insurer about coverage for your move. Usually movers cover only what they pack.

4.  Do the settlement math.

Title company employees are only human, so they can make mistakes. Before your closing, check the math on your closing disclosure and compare it with your loan estimate.

5.  Review charges on your closing docs.

Are all mortgages being paid off, and are the payoff amounts correct? If your real estate agent promised you extras — such as a discounted commission or a home warranty policy — make sure that’s included. Also check whether your real estate agent or title company added fees that weren’t disclosed earlier. If any party suggests leaving items off the docs, consult a lawyer about whether that might expose you to legal risk.

6.  Search for missing credits.

Be sure the settlement company properly credited you for prepaid expenses, such as property taxes and homeowners association fees, if applicable. If you’ve prepaid taxes for the year, you’re entitled to a credit for the time you no longer own the home. Have you been credited for heating oil or propane left in the tank?

7.  Don’t leave money in escrow.

End your home sale closing with nothing unresolved. Make sure the title company releases money already held in escrow for you, and avoid leaving sales proceeds in a new escrow to be dickered over later.

Source: houselogic.com

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida
#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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WILLIAMS ISLAND REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (05-04-18)

 

05-04 2018 Williams Island 1

WILLIAMS ISLAND REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of May 05, 2018

05-04 2018 Williams Island 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN WILLIAMS ISLAND .

 

#RealEstate #RealEstateSouthFlorida #RealEstateWilliamsIsland

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

Biscayne Cove

Biscayne Cove Condominium

18151 NE 31st Ct #101, Aventura, FL 33160, USA

Biscayne Cove is located on one of the most prominent well-known areas in Aventura – Williams Island. It is a very private and secluded area, yet easily accessible from Williams Island Boulevard. Surrounding areas are filled with beautiful country clubs and golf courses such as those offered by Turnberry Isle. To the north and south of us, the Aventura

Biscayne Cove 2Mall and the Bal Harbour Shops offer a wide variety of very exclusive shops and restaurants. Fort Lauderdale Airport the Miami International Airport and the Opa Locka Airport, which caters exclusively to the private jetsetters. This area is very young, sophisticated and fast-growing. A number of major developments are taking place around us and have been a very big influence in appreciating property values. Average prices for waterfront property in the area range from between $500,000 to $2.5 million.

As you enter the world of Biscayne Cove you are greeted by beauty and privacy of our secluded entrance with a beautiful fountain and lush tropical gardens. Our newly decorated lobbies with their marble floors and stained-glass mirrors will make you feel right at home. Our very spacious apartments offer fully equipped kitchens, (many with breakfast areas and windows), tiled bathrooms, from floor-to-ceiling windows, central air-conditioning and heating, and much more.

Biscayne Cove is a development of the Pacific International Equities group of companies which is recognized as one of South Florida’s largest and most successful real estate developers. Pacific International is 60 years strong with developments in Canada and the United States. Here in the southeast, it’s luxury high-rise water properties include L`Excellence, La Rive Gauche, The Sterling Plaza of the Americas, the Olympus and many others.

Biscayne Cove is a relatively new project, which comprises two high-rise structures which contain a total of 592 units. The Tower Building is 28 stories with 264 units. The Clipper Building is 21 stories with 328 units. Both buildings offer 1, 2 and three-bedroom apartments, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, The Intracoastal Waterway and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach.

Biscayne Cove Pool

Amenities Include:

  • Bike Storage
  • Billiard Rooms/ Card Room
  • Party Rooms
  • Common Laundry
  • Community Room
  • Elevators
  • Exercise Rooms
  • Extra Storage
  • Handball/ Tennis/ Basket Ball court
  • Heated Pools
  • Library
  • Sauna/ Jacuzzi

In-house Services Include:

  • Biscayne Cove Condominium Association has installed Smoke Detectors and Fire Sprinkler Systems in all the Units at the Clipper and Tower Buildings including all Common Areas. Sprinkler heads are located in the Common Areas and one sprinkler head in each unit. The Sprinkler System for the buildings is monitored by our Safety Department that is on duty in the lobby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The property is a gated community with a strictly controlled entrance and a security guard 24 hours, 7 days week.
  • Management Accounting Department
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Valet

For more information on leasing and sales, you may contact them at (305) 935-4565.

Credits to:  biscondo.com

#RealEstate #RealEstateSouthFlorida #RealEstateWilliamsIsland

Check out homes for sale in Williams Island. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home

05-02 Selling your home

The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home

By: HouseLogic

How to figure out exactly what you want, and how to work with the experts who’ll help you get it.

Selling, a famous salesman once said, is essentially a transfer of feelings.

You love and cherish your home. You want the next owner to fall in love with it, too — through photos, through words, and through the experience of walking through your front door. But, perhaps most, you want to get the price you want.

This isn’t a small task. Selling a home requires work. It requires time. The journey isn’t always easy. There will be frustrations. But when you seal the deal and move on to your next chapter  — wow, what a blissful, boss feeling.

Below, we preview and link to each step in your journey.  We’ll discuss how to know what you want (and what your partner wants, if you’re selling together). How to understand the market, and ways to make a plan. And most importantly? How to create relationships with experts and trust them to help you get the job done.

Now, let’s talk about selling your house.

Jump to a specific home selling step using these links:

Know What You Want | Do Your Research | Interview and Select an Agent | Price Your Home | Prep Your Home for Sale | Market Your Home | Showcase Your Home | Receive Offers | Negotiate With the Buyer | Negotiate Home Inspection Repairs | Close the Sale

Know, Exactly, What You Want

First things first: You need to know what you want (and what your partner wants) in order to sell your home with minimum frustration. Why are you moving? What do you expect from the process? When, exactly, should you put that For Sale sign in the yard? We can help you get your thoughts in order with this home selling worksheet.

Do Your Research

Unless you bought your home last week, the housing market changed since you became a homeowner. Mortgage rates fluctuate, inventory shifts over time — these are just a few of the factors that affect the state of the market, and every market is unique. Educate yourself on what to expect. Start with our study guide on the market.

Related Topic: Sell a Home: Step-by-Step

Interview and Select an Agent

This is the most important relationship you’ll form on your home selling journey. Pick the right agent and you’ll likely get a better sales price for your house. Here’s how to find and select the expert who’s right for you.

Price Your Home

How much is your home worth? That’s the … $300,000 question. Whatever the number, you need to know it. This is how your agent will help you pinpoint the price.

Prep Your Home for Sale

Today, home buyers have unfettered access to property listings online, so you have to make a great first impression — on the internet and IRL. That means you’ll have to declutter all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, make any necessary repairs, and get your home in swoon-worthy condition. Here’s how to stage your home.

Market Your Home

Home buyers look at countless listings online. The best-marketed homes have beautiful photos and compelling property descriptions, so they can get likes — which can amount to buyer interest — on social media. Some agents are even using videos, virtual tours, texts, and audio messages. It’s time to consider how to promote your property.

Showcase Your Home

One of the best ways to get buyers in the door is to have an open house. This is your chance to show off your home’s best assets, and help buyers envision themselves living there. Know how your agent will organize, advertise, and host the event to ensure it’s a success.

Receive Offers

Yes, you might get offers plural, depending on your market. Assuming you’ve collaborated with your agent, you’ve likely positioned yourself to receive attractive bids. Your agent will review each offer with you to determine which is best for you. (Read: The offer price isn’t the only factor to consider: Here’s why.)

Negotiate With the Buyer

To get the best deal for you, you’ll likely have to do some negotiating. Your agent will help you craft a strategic counteroffer to the buyer’s offer, factoring in not only money, but contingencies, etc. Let’s talk about how to ask for what you want.

Negotiate Home Inspection Repairs

Ah, the home inspection. It’s as much a source of anxiety for buyers as it is for sellers. Nonetheless, most purchase agreements are contingent on a home inspection (plus an appraisal, which will be managed by the buyer’s lender). This gives the buyer the ability to inspect the home from top to bottom and request repairs — some even could be required per building codes. The upshot: You have some room to negotiate, including about certain repairs. Once again, your agent will be there to help you effectively communicate with the buyer.

Close the Sale

Settlement, or closing, is the last step in the home selling process. This is where you sign the final paperwork, make this whole thing official, and collect your check. Before that can happen though, you’ll have to prepare your home for the buyer’s final walk-through and troubleshoot any last-minute issues. We’ve got you covered with this closing checklist.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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SUNNY ISLES REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (04-27-18)

 

04-27 2018 Sunny Isles 1

SUNNY ISLES REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of April 27, 2018

04-27 2018 Sunny Isles 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN SUNNY ISLES .

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateSunnyIsles #SunnyIslesRealEstate
#SunnyIslesEstate  #RealEstateSouthFlorida

 

 

Gilbert Samson 1

 

Gilbert Samson Oceanfront Park

17425 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

Gilbert Samson 3

This 2.1-acre park is located on oceanfront land. Named after Gilbert Samson, “Samson Oceanfront Park” is publicly owned and operated as a passive, natural resource-based, public, outdoor recreational site that was acquired with grant funding from the “Florida Communities Trust Preservation 2000 Program,” and from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s, “Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program.”

Gilbert Samson 2

 

Amenities:

  • Benches
  • 1 Soofa bench (solar electric outdoor charging station equipped with USB connections)
  • Boardwalk
  • Showers
  • Pavilion with tables
  • Restrooms
  • Water fountain
  • Playground area
  • Volleyball court on the beach (bring your own ball)
  • Vending refreshments
  • Lifeguard Station
  • Free WiFi

Open: Sunrise – Sunset

Restrooms open at 8:30 a.m.

No dogs allowed. No fishing from the shore.

The SIBshuttle, the City’s free bus service, provides transportation to the park.

Source: https://www.sibfl.net

 

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateSunnyIsles #SunnyIslesRealEstate
#SunnyIslesEstate  #RealEstateSouthFlorida

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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What to Expect During a Home Inspection

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

By: HouseLogic

From finding an inspector to dealing with surprises — this is your guide to getting a house checked out.

The first thing you need to know about home inspection: You’ll feel all the feels.

There’s the excitement — the inspection could be the longest time you’re in the house, after the showing.

Right behind that comes … anxiety. What if the inspector finds something wrong? So wrong you can’t buy the house?

Then there’s impatience. Seriously, is this whole home-buying process over yet?

Not yet. But you’re close. So take a deep breath. Because the most important thing to know about home inspection: It’s just too good for you, as a buyer, to skip. Here’s why.

A Home Inspector Is Your Protector

An inspector helps you make sure a house isn’t hiding anything before you commit for the long haul. (Think about it this way: You wouldn’t even get coffee with a stranger without checking out their history.)

A home inspector identifies any reasonably discoverable problems with the house (a leaky roof, faulty plumbing, etc.). Hiring an inspector is you doing your due diligence. To find a good one (more on how to do that soon), it helps to have an understanding of what the typical home inspection entails.

An inspection is all about lists.  

Before an inspection, the home inspector will review the seller’s property disclosure statement. (Each state has its own requirements for what sellers must disclose on these forms; some have stronger requirements than others.) The statement lists any flaws the seller is aware of that could negatively affect the home’s value.

The disclosure comes in the form of an outline, covering such things as:

  • Mold
  • Pest infestation
  • Roof leaks
  • Foundation damage
  • Other problems, depending on what your state mandates.

During the inspection, an inspector has three tasks: To:

  1. Identify problems with the house
  2. Suggest fixes
  3. Estimate how much repairs might cost

He or she produces a written report, usually including photos, that details any issues with the property. This report is critical to you and your agent — it’s what you’ll use to request repairs from the seller. (We’ll get into how you’ll do that in a minute, too.)

The Inspector Won’t Check Everything

Generally, inspectors only examine houses for problems that can be seen with the naked eye. They won’t be tearing down walls or using magical X-ray vision, to find hidden faults.

Inspectors also won’t put themselves in danger. If a roof is too high or steep, for example, they won’t climb up to check for missing or damaged shingles. They’ll use binoculars to examine it instead.

They can’t predict the future, either. While an inspector can give you a rough idea of how many more years that roof will hold up, he or she can’t tell you exactly when it will need to be replaced.

Finally, home inspectors are often generalists. A basic inspection doesn’t routinely include a thorough evaluation of:

  • Swimming pools
  • Wells
  • Septic systems
  • Structural engineering work
  • The ground beneath a home
  • Fireplaces and chimneys

When it comes to wood-burning fireplaces, for instance, most inspectors will open and close dampers to make sure they’re working, check chimneys for obstructions like birds’ nests, and note if they believe there’s reason to pursue a more thorough safety inspection.

If you’re concerned about the safety of a fireplace, you can hire a certified chimney inspector for about $125 to $325 per chimney; find one through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

It’s Your Job to Check the Inspector

Now you’re ready to connect with someone who’s a pro at doing all of the above. Here’s where — once again — your real estate agent has your back. He or she can recommend reputable home inspectors to you.

In addition to getting recommendations (friends and relatives are handy for those, too), you can rely on online resources such as the American Society of Home Inspectors’ (ASHI) Find a Home Inspector tool, which lets you search by address, metro area, or neighborhood.

You’ll want to interview at least three inspectors before deciding whom to hire. During each chat, ask questions such as:

  • Are you licensed or certified? Inspector certifications vary, based on where you live. Not every state requires home inspectors to be licensed, and licenses can indicate different degrees of expertise. ASHI lists each state’s requirements here.
  • How long have you been in the business? Look for someone with at least five years of experience — it indicates more homes inspected.
  • How much do you charge? The average home inspection costs about $315. For condos and homes under 1,000 square feet, the average cost is $200. Homes over 2,000 square feet can run $400 or more. (Figures are according to HomeAdvisor.com.)
  • What do you check, exactly? Know what you’re getting for your money.
  • What don’t you check, specifically? Some home inspectors are more thorough than others.
  • How soon after the inspection will I receive my report? Home inspection contingencies require you to complete the inspection within a certain period of time after the offer is accepted — normally five to seven days — so you’re on a set timetable. A good home inspector will provide you with the report within 24 hours after the inspection.
  • May I see a sample report? This will help you gauge how detailed the inspector is and how he or she explains problems.

Sometimes you can find online reviews of inspectors on sites like Angie’s List and Yelp, too, if past clients’ feedback is helpful in making your decision.

Show Up for Inspection (and Bring Your Agent)

It’s inspection day, and the honor of your — and your agent’s — presence is not required, but highly recommended. Even though you’ll receive a report summarizing the findings later on, being there gives you a chance to ask questions, and to learn the inner workings of the home.

Block out two to three hours for the inspection. The inspector will survey the property from top to bottom. This includes checking water pressure; leaks in the attic, plumbing, etc.; if door and window frames are straight (if not, it could be a sign of a structural issue); if electrical wiring is up to code; if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working; if appliances work properly. Outside, he or she will look at things like siding, fencing, and drainage.

The inspector might also be able to check for termites, asbestos, lead paint, or radon. Because these tests involve more legwork and can require special certification, they come at an additional charge.

Get Ready to Negotiate

Once you receive the inspector’s report, review it with your agent.

Legally, sellers are required to make certain repairs. These can vary depending on location. Most sales contracts require the seller to fix:

  • Structural defects
  • Building code violations
  • Safety issues

Most home repairs, however, are negotiable. Be prepared to pick your battles: Minor issues, like a cracked switchplate or loose kitchen faucet, are easy and cheap to fix on your own. You don’t want to start nickel-and-diming the seller.

If there are major issues with the house, your agent can submit a formal request for repairs that includes a copy of the inspection report. Repair requests should be as specific as possible. For instance: Instead of saying “repair broken windows,” a request should say “replace broken window glass in master bathroom.”

  • If the seller agrees to make all of your repair requests: He or she must provide you with invoices from a licensed contractor stating that the repairs were made. Then it’s full steam ahead toward the sale.
  • If the seller responds to your repair requests with a counteroffer: He or she will state which repairs (or credits at closing) he or she is willing to make. The ball is in your court to either agree, counter the seller’s counteroffer, or void the transaction.

At the end of the day, remember to check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling about all of this. You need to be realistic about how much repair work you’d be taking on. At this point in the sale, there’s a lot of pressure from all parties to move into the close. But if you don’t feel comfortable, speak up.

The most important things to remember during the home inspection? Trust your inspector, trust your gut, and lean on your agent — they likely have a lot of experience to support your decision-making.

That’s something to feel good about.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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