When buying a home, a lot of home buyers think that the inspection period is just a routine step in the home purchase process. They fail to realize it’s a critical part of the process, and should be taken very seriously.
Did you know that you can inspect a home for just about anything you can think of during the inspection period? In fact, take a look at what the Arizona Purchase Contract states about the “Inspection Period” (Paragraph 6a of the contract.)
“During the Inspection Period, Buyer, at Buyer’s expense, shall: (i) conduct all desired physical, environmental, and other types of inspections and investigations to determine the value and condition of the Premises; (ii) make inquiries and consult government agencies, lenders, insurance agents, architects, and other appropriate persons and entities concerning the suitability of the Premises and the surrounding area; (iii) investigate applicable building, zoning fire, health, and safety codes to determine any potential hazards, violations or defects in the Premises and; (iv) verify any material multiple listing service (MLS) information. If the presence of sex offenders in the vicinity or the occurrence of a disease, natural death, suite, homicide or other crime on or in the vicinity is a material matter to the Buyer it must be investigated by the Buyer during the Inspection Period.”
According to the boilerplate wording in the Arizona Purchase Contract, a buyer has 10 days to inspect the property they are buying. That time period can be shortened or extended during the offer negotiations. Some buyers may offer to shorten the inspection period to make their offer look stronger to the seller. Some buyers may request a longer inspection period to coordinate it around their own schedule conflicts or travel plans.
My advice to buyers is:
1) Have the inspection(s) take place as many days as possible before the end of your inspection period. This not only gives you time to review the inspection report, think about the repairs you are going to ask for, and put together the official repair request with your Realtor, it also allows you to schedule additional inspections should something come up that needs more investigation.
2) Over-inspect your new home. I recommend, in addition to the general home inspection, having a separate roof, pool, window and HVAC inspection by contractors who specialize in these fields. Why? Because two sets of eyes are better than one.
For example, in the event that the inspector identifies something that looks like mold, you may want to have an environmental inspection performed. Environmental inspectors do visual inspections as well as take air quality and swab tests. It can take those tests a couple of days to come back from the lab, so be aware of that and request an extension on your inspection period if necessary.
Another important thing to consider: If you can’t make it to the inspection, make sure that someone is there on your behalf to eyeball the deficiencies found by the inspector – the best person for this job is your Realtor. It’s always best to see the issues in person – if you are simply reading about them in your inspection report you may mistake a major repair for something minor, or vice versa.
Did you know? Per the Arizona Purchase Contract, the seller is entitled to a copy of any and all inspections performed by the Buyer on their home.
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The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255