Don't Fall For The Short Inspection Period Trap
Michigan is a hot bed for real estate right now and this can lead to lots of fast moving deals as buyers try to get their bids in quick and sellers are looking for the best deal possible. In this market inspectors are starting to feel the crunch as buyers are using a shortened inspection period as a negotiating tactic but I am here to tell you why you should avoid this type of bargaining at all costs.
What Is An Inspection Period
An inspection period is the length of time that a buyer has to do their due diligence on their prospective property. It gives the buyers time to inspect the property and make sure it meets their needs and wants. This includes having a home inspector, pest inspector, or other inspectors or contractors look at the property. If the property doesn't end up meeting the buyers standards they can cancel the contract and get their full earnest money back. Buyers can back out for a myriad of reasons, but most often these reasons involve findings from a professional inspection.
Types Of Inspections
Buyers can bring in many different professionals to inspect the property they are interested in. This could include brining in specialized contractors such as plumbers, electricians, and structural engineers however this is often cost prohibitive. Most often buyers stick to more basic inspections. The most common are :
Home Inspection: A home inspection is a visual inspection of the general condition of the home. The home inspection is often accompanied by a written report complete with pictures and narrative for each deficiency describing what the issue is, why its an issue, and how to have it repaired. Home inspectors follow a Standards of Practice document which describes exactly what they are going to, and not going to, inspect. Be sure to review this document and understand what it means to have a general only inspection done. Home inspections can run anywhere from $250 to $900 depending on the caliber of home inspector, size and age of the home, and special systems that may need to be inspected.
Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) Inspection: A WDO inspection is performed by a specialist that has been trained to spot and identify various signs of pest and microbial growth that could destroy the structural wood components of the home. These inspections usually run between $50 and $100 so they make an inexpensive add on to a home inspection for easy peace of mind.
Well and Septic Inspection: Having a specialist inspect your well and septic can be a requirement of a real estate in some counties in Michigan but should be considered on any property with these systems. This inspection cost on average between $325 to $600.
Sewer Scope: Durring a sewer scope inspection a specialist will run a special camera down the drain pipes of the home, all the way out to the city sewer line, in order to determine the viability of the drain system. Sewer Scopes cost between $300 to $1,000 dollars depending on the length of the pipe as well as other factors.
Radon Test: Radon testing can be done as fast as 48 hours during a real estate transaction. There is no EPA approved test which will be available quicker than 48 hours. A special meter is used to measure the concentration of radon in the home. Due to the quick testing time the test should be performed by a certified professional. These usually cost between $75 and $150.
Mold Inspection/ Air Quality Test: A mold inspection and air quality test is used to determine if hazardous mold or mildew is present in the home. The cost can vary greatly to do this test but it can be invaluable when evaluating the investment.
Average Inspection Period
The inspection period is often 10 working days from the date of acceptance of the offer. This period is not only used to perform inspections but is also used to have contractors look at items that are found during the inspection. This period can be negotiated longer or shorter however it is usually negotiated shorter than the already tight 10 days.
Not only will you want to have your inspections and contractors inspect the property during your inspection period you will also want time to analyze the reports and information that you have gathered in order to make an informed decision whether to move forward with the investment in the property. It is so important that you allow time we really recommend contacting your inspector before getting an accepted deal so you are aware of the timeframe you will need to get the inspection completed.
Don't Cut Back Your Inspection Period
As you can see, there is a ton of information that can be gathered during the inspection period but these inspections take time. Often you must wait at least two days for home inspection. While home inspectors can usually perform more than just one of your inspections you may have to wait additional days for other inspectors to get onsite. Once you have your inspections complete it is important to take time to review the reports then it will often be suggested you contact certain specialized contractors to review and bid out items that could be expensive or major hazards. This could often take 2 to 4 days to get the contractors on-site. Radon tests will take a minimum of 48 hours and air quality tests will take at least 3 days to get lab results back. Even a 10 day inspection period can be tight.
The importance of understanding your future investment can't be underestimated, this is what the inspection period is for. Inspections should reveal the majority of issues wrong with the property, your home inspector and ancillary inspectors will help you understand these findings, and contractors will help you investigate further and budget for the repairs that may be necessary. This process takes time and should not be rushed. You will need this time to properly evaluate the reports your inspectors give you. This is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, don't rush the process in order to get a little bit of a leg up on a property and never feel forced into shortening your inspection period to satisfy a seller. There are lots of properties out there, make sure your dream home is in good repair, safe, structurally sound, everything you think it is before you buy.
Card Inspection Services, llc is ran and operated by Darrin Card who covers the majority of mid and west Michigan. Darrin is a Licensed Residential Contractor, Certified Professional Inspector through the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), A Certified Commercial Property Inspector through the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association, and hold many more qualifications to meet your needs for home and commercial property inspections. Find out more at www.cardinspectionservices.net