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Your Complete Guide to South Central Wisconsin Real Estate for Sale.

green house cartoonWhen you are considering purchasing Madison real estate or any WI property a key issue that will be of interest to both buyer and seller will be the home inspection. In fact, the home inspection, which the buyer typically includes as a contingency in the offer to purchase may become a pivotal element in the entire negotiation.

Your Home Inspection Tells the Tale

Let’s review what you should expect of a home inspection, and maybe even more importantly, what you should not expect. First, it is probably safe to assume that all homes will have some kind repair or maintenance needs, whether they be minor or material. Even new construction can have issues that will pop up in a home inspection, so despite the builder’s suggestions to the contrary, a home inspection for a new home is not at all out of line.

The underlying purpose of your home inspection is to acquaint you, as the buyer, with the condition of the home and how various mechanical systems work. Your inspector’s job is to look the home with the objective to review the condition of various structural and mechanical systems and to provide you with a written report of his or her findings. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors your home inspector does not “pass” or “fail” the home. The inspector is not providing you with an  “appraisal” or giving you a recommendation of market value. The inspector may indicate aspects of the home that would bear watching or that might be nearing the end of their useful lives, but generally speaking they are not looking to identify every minor defect. Keep in mind that nearly all houses have some minor defects including new construction.

What gets Inspected in a Home Inspection?

Typically, your inspector will check the A/C system (temperature permitting), the heating system, electric, plumbing, the roof and attic and any insulation issues that are visible. Also when inspecting homes, the inspector will check the windows and doors, the walls, ceilings and floors for material defects. Under your home, the inspector will check the foundation, the basement and any structural components that are visible.

Inspecting and Testing may be part of your Home Inspection

There may be situations when your home inspector will suggest that testing may be appropriate. Testing involves taking samples of something and having them evaluated for certain characteristics. It is important for buyers to realize that inspectors are typically only permitted to “test” for gas leaks and carbon monoxide. Testing for things like radon, or chemicals in well water are a separate issue from your home inspection and have to be specifically requested and agreed to in the purchase contract.

In other situations, your inspector may recommend that certain systems or conditions found in the home be referred to a specialist in that area for a more extensive inspection. This might be a roofing contractor, a heating and air conditioning contractor or a foundation expert if the home inspector believes that a situation is beyond his or her level of expertise. Frequently, the Offer to Purchase includes a term that will permit these types of secondary inspections. However: be aware that these supplemental inspections will typically need to be performed within the inspection deadline unless your broker requests and gets an extension.

Buyers and Sellers have Something at Stake with the Home Inspection

In this real estate market in particular, buyers and sellers both have a keen interest in the home inspection report. Sellers are naturally concerned that a home inspection will turn up something that will detract from the value of the home; and buyers are hoping to negotiate either the repair or a seller credit (reduction in price) to effect the repairs after purchase of any material defects discovered by the home inspection report.

In my experience, while this can be a somewhat tense situation, good agents on both sides can help keep the situation in perspective for both buyers and sellers. The bottom line is, the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy. Usually a fair solution is agreed upon and homes change hands successfully. It happens all the time

Nelson & Associates can Help You Navigate the Home Inspection

While brokers and agents can not steer clients to individual inspectors, they can provide their clients with several names to consider along with inspectors the clients locate through other means. In my experience, I can offer the names of several inspectors with whose home inspection work I am familiar. I can help you find Madison homes that will excite you and provide you a list of credible home inspectors for you to contact. Call me today, and I will go to work for you right away.

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