Real Estate Inspection - Doing Your Own
By Steve Gillman - 2006
Why would you do want to do your own real estate inspection?
To get a better price. You don't have to learn building codes,
and you probably should have a professional inspector in any
case. The point of learning what to look for is to have good
Use a Home Inspection Checklist
With a good inspection checklist, you won't forget things.
There are more than a hundred items on my own list. Could you
keep all those in mind as you walk through a property? Did you
remember to look for water stains on the basement walls the last
time you looked at a house? Bring a list!
A good list is organized by area of the house, usually starting
outside. As you walk around and then through the home, check
each item on the list. Be sure to take notes. If the gutter is
coming loose on the side of the house, write that down, along
with notes about rotten wood or anything else associated with
Don't worry if you don't know the difference between 12-gauge
and 14-gauge wiring. The point isn't to become an expert on all
the building trades, as useful as that would be. Just use what
you do know. Note if something looks "odd" or "smells
funny." Then you can have a professional inspector have
a closer look.
Real Estate Inspection Is a Negotiating Tool
You could, of course, just make an offer on a home and include
an inspection clause. After an inspector goes in, you can re-negotiate
the price based on his findings. This is common. The problem
is that it can offend the seller, and blow the deal. How would
you like it if somebody dropped their offer by $10,000 after
they already put it in writing?
Here's a better way: Find as many problems with the property
as you can, BEFORE making the offer. This way you can take all
of these issues into account. A list of the problems presented
with an offer is also a good impersonal (therefore non-offensive)
way to negotiate a lower price.
You don't need to be a carpenter to note that a railing is
loose. Anyone can see if a home needs new paint. Real estate
inspection can start with such simple things as these, and end
with a better price for you.
You can use the link here to get to that home