The property inspection helps buyers understand if there are any underlying issues with the home or building. Who needs to be there?
Whether you're a buyer or seller, the property inspection is a key part of the transaction process. Issues discovered during the inspection can impact decisions about the property, not to mention cause disputes about who must pay for what. Sometimes a problem found during inspection can cause a deal to fall apart altogether.
Let's look at the purpose of an inspection, who is required to attend, and a few other facts about this important step in the real estate transaction.
What is the purpose of a property inspection?
A home or property inspection is a crucial part of the purchasing process. The inspection will uncover any underlying issues with the home that are not visible or apparent otherwise. Buyers use the inspection as an opportunity to identify any problems before they commit to the purchase.
Sometimes a home inspection will be used as a contingency in a purchase and sale contract, which often states that the buyer is allowed to not move forward with the purchase if there are significant problems with the home. Of course, the problems have to be very significant to allow that kind of response, but it does happen frequently.
Common issues that a home inspection uncovers are things like concerns about the roof, plumbing, electrical systems, foundation, or other safety concerns.
This is an important step before the property changes hands, so who should be there for it?
Who attends a property inspection?
There's no one answer to who must show up for the inspection. Many variables could impact who should attend the inspection, including the contract, facts about the purchase, and if a realtor or agent is involved. Technically, the only person who is required to be present is the inspector.
In most cases, the property buyer will attend the inspection, either for all or part of it. Sometimes the buyer will bring along their agent or friends and family members. If the buyer is unable to attend the assessment, their agent will usually step in and accompany the inspector.
It's not always a good idea to bring along a lot of other people during the inspection, as additional opinions and questions could delay the process. But sometimes it can be wise to bring along people who may be more familiar with common home problems if you are new to property inspections or a first-time homebuyer.
Sometimes the seller decides to attend the inspection, but often they will leave the property throughout the duration. While the buyer cannot forbid the seller from being present, it may be uncomfortable for the seller to be there as the inspector performs the assessment. The seller shouldn't impede on the inspection in any way or influence the inspector's work. It thus may be wise to request that they aren't in attendance.
The buyer is usually responsible for coordinating the date of the inspection and all the details with his or her real estate agent, though final decisions are ultimately up to the buyer.
Other facts about property inspections
Florida law requires an inspector to provide a written professional opinion of the home's condition, after assessing the following components:
- Electrical system
- Interior and exterior components
- Site conditions affecting the structure
While the price of a home inspection will vary, they typically cost between $200 and $500, so they are pretty affordable.
Some buyers fear that damage will be done by the inspector during the assessment. Florida law requires home inspectors to have a commercial general liability insurance policy, which will cover any damages they cause.
Another important note is that the purchase and sale contract will probably have a deadline for completing the inspection. As the buyer, make sure you schedule the inspection to give yourself plenty of time to meet that deadline to avoid missing your opportunity.
When you are buying or selling a property, a real estate attorney can help you through the process, including preparing paperwork and reviewing and negotiating the contract terms. You need to pay close attention to what's required of you in the contract, especially around property inspections, so work with a lawyer who can ensure you are agreeing to favorable terms.
The experienced, board-certified real estate attorneys at PeytonBolin are ready to help you in any property transaction. Contact our team today to get started with a free phone consultation.