Buyers - The Home Inspection

What to expect from the home inspection

If you are buying a Jupiter home you should be aware that the law requires the seller of a home to disclose all known defects, however, the real estate agent is not required to verify them. Neither is he or she qualified to assess any defects that are disclosed and if there are any that should have been disclosed. Also not all defects are known by the owners. This is why a home inspection is crucial. When you are ready to make written offer on a home be sure to include an inspection contingency which gives you the right to have the home inspected within a specified time period, such as 10-20 days. This is your opportunity to learn as much as you can about the home you are about to purchase. In Florida home inspections are conducted by trained and licensed Home Inspectors. Your agent may recommend Home Inspectors; however, are not allowed to receive kickbacks of any kind for doing so. Ask your Realtor® for more than one recommendation but also seek recommendations from trusted friends and business acquaintances. A good place to find well-trained Home Inspectors is FABI.org, NAHI.org, or ASHI.org. Choose an inspector with a good reputation with home owners and one you feel you can trust. A Home Inspector examines the property’s interior and exterior, including the condition of roofing, electrical, plumbing, structural, and ventilation elements. At the time of inspection, the inspector runs the show, but don’t be afraid to ask questions which will really help you to really understand how the home functions. The Home Inspector should deliver a well-written report to you, typically within 24 to 48 hours. The report should describe the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components. Inspectors in Florida are required to express that a component or system is near or at the end of its useful life. Don’t expect a perfect house; every inspection will reveal issues. You and your agent should go through the entire report together and then decide how to proceed with your negotiations. In an "As Is" contract, and depending on the terms of the inspection contingency you may:

  • Accept the findings of the report and move forward with purchase
  • Rescind the offer to buy because of an unsatisfactory report. The contract becomes null and void and the good faith deposit returned
  • Request time for further inspections if something needs more investigation
  • Negotiate with the seller for repairs or concessions. If the negotiations fail the buyer can withdraw their offer to purchase and have the good faith deposit returned

A Home Inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run you'll be glad you did it. The inspection can reveal problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before you move in, saving you time and money. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an inspection can give you a crash course in home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make your home as safe and sound as possible. Don't skip this important step in the home-buying process - it's worth every penny.