Who needs a home inspection? Buyers, Sellers, Both or Neither?

Nobody HAS to have a home inspection, but for buyers it is recommended.

There is a form highlighting the need for a home inspection, buyers review it and sign that they received and understand. See Link to form  For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/For-Your-Protection-Get-a-Home-Inspection.pdf

The inspector also needs to be licensed if the contract contingency is to be authentic.  If you want Aunt Linda to come, look at the integrity of the house then most times it is allowed but unless she is licensed, she cannot fill the role of home inspector.

The inspector will evaluate the physical condition of the house.  Give an idea of the remaining useful life in the utilities and major systems of the house,  giving you information regarding what items may need to be replaced or repaired at a future date.

Recently, I was having a discussion with an inspector, and he relates an increase in buyers getting inspections after closing.  After they move in, they find things aren’t the way they thought and now they are mounting evidence that they may have been duped. 

One of my buyers was having a home inspection, the inspector was checking for carbon monoxide from the furnace with a detection gadget.  The reading was so high, the sellers had no idea, they and their small children were immediately removed from the house and could not go back until the furnace was replaced.  They were so thankful for the home inspector.

Who else may want a home inspection?  Possibly the seller.  You can do the preinspection home inspection.  If you as the seller wanted to know what was going on with utilities or structures in the house, that you may not have knowledge of already, then this would do the trick. If this was the option you chose, then you may find out that repairs for many of the items they find will need to take place anyways.  It can make for a more secure contract to purchase if things are already taken care of.

Most home inspectors will have you there so they can go over upkeep items that you may need to do as time goes on, they will provide a computer report the day of or day after the inspection.  Pictures and evaluations are provided.  You use this report to go over items with your real estate agent and figure out what may need to be addressed, if any ( remember the preinspection home inspection?) and what would not.  This takes place before the contract is finalized, since this is a contract contingency. Because of it’s potential, the home inspection and Radon test requests  are well laid out with dates and schedules that must be adhered to maintain purchase contract validity. You can protect your future repair costs to a point for items that you could not see or have expertise to evaluate at the initial showing.  But if the house is legitimate and no misrepresentations are made by the seller then it is a solid purchase and your home inspection just confirmed that.

Don’t Get Tripped Up By Hackers on Wire Transfers for Closing Funds

 

Changing financial protocols for everything from our banking to our grocery payments have morphed into unrecognized pathways compared to previous times.  They make us giggle with convenience or weep with frustration for identity theft.  In the real estate industry, we have a mantra stamped somewhere in our soul “roll with the flow and what the client wants let’s make it happen.”  So if a credit card payment is what is needed that’s swell, if a cashiers check is the only acceptable payment let’s get it done, “oh, you have a bag of cash from grandmas knitting basket? Well let’s see what the bank can do,” “can you put a down payment of bitcoin? Let me check.”  Wire transfers have been a standard for some time and thought to be the Work Horse of the closing process.  They are secure, timely and make the process end on a smooth note with everyone’s money getting in place so happy homeowners or sellers can move in and move on.

So, what has changed?  Nothing in so far as they are and will still be used and considered the most secure form of payment especially for the larger sums associated with real estate. The alert comes to our property buyers.  Many times attorneys are the handlers for the wire transfers, real estate agents may have alerted a client that they should call their attorney and get their wire transfer information but most often a good attorney will do all that in their sandbox of the closing process. That was the beauty of the wire transfer process, money needs to go here make it happen and done.  With the hustle of hackers this process has been muddied on occasion.  A well-meaning email from an agent to the buyer’s attorney and the buyer cc’d regarding a desired closing date turns into access for hackers to get the associated email addresses and all the info needed.  From their they forge an email, make access to the original attorneys’ email account blocked, and request a wire transfer to an account of the hacker.  Even if the buyer emails back to confirm the amount or the wire account number it is received by a hacker and confirmed.  $90,000 from your savings account ear marked for your home purchase is gone.  Never made it to the required closing account, and you are out $90,000.  YES, you are out $90,000. 

So, how do we stop this from happening?  A little personal attention is required, call.  Everyone wants the email with the wire transfer instructions, after all how can us mere mortals figure out the process so easily handled by financial gurus unless we have a reference (aka the email) to take to the wire depot?  Here is the golden nugget… always call your kind, helpful and efficient attorney to confirm that they sent a wire transfer request email AND verify that the numbers are the same.  As REALTORS® we love efficiency in the process, almost as much as paperless transactions.  But sometimes the personal touch just fits, and a phone call is the best way to protect your assets.