Home Buying in Santa Clara>Question Details

FirstTimer, Home Buyer in Santa Clara, CA

Why does the home inspection come AFTER the buyer makes the offer??

Asked by FirstTimer, Santa Clara, CA Sun Jan 20, 2008

I am a first time homebuyer and was watching the TLC program of the same name and was curious why the buyer does not get to have an inspector do his or her inspection before making an offer?
If something bad comes up during inspeciton, does that get figured into the closing price?

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You certainly can have an inspection prior to the offer, but the logic behind the current model is this:

An inspection will cost you, depending on your area, anywhere from $250.00 on up... why spend that money on a property, when you haven't yet been able to determine if you and the seller can come to an agreement on how much you're going to pay for the property.

Once you've agreed on a price, you typically have an inspection period, and during that period you'll have an opportunity to raise any issues you've found during the inspection and see if you can resolve them. You could negotiate a repair, or a credit for major problems found, or determine that some of the minor problems were minor enough to ignore. You could also decide that the issues raised by the inspection were so serious that you no longer want to purchase the home. All of these options, and probably more, are open to you that point, so you haven't locked yourself into a deal, that you can't escape from.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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Hi Firstimer:

The sellers always provide disclosures about the property and sometimes the sellers have already performed inspection on the house and may have even made repairs - make sure you request if the sellers have already done that and study it before you make an offer.

It is customary for buyers to do inspection after they have made offers. Same reason as the other pros - cost. Yous should always make an offer contingency upon inspection (and others) and an adequate inspection period so you can have time to perform needed inspections. They are pricey, and depends on the findings, you might want to obtain additional specialized inspections (such as roof, chimney, structure, etc)

Yes, you can negotiate credit for repairs or even have sellers repair the items found during the inspection period - another major negotiation your agent has to do for you (first is the negotiation of the original offer terms and conditions), a good agent will be able to negotiate decent and fair credit from the findings. Those, depending on the amount, can be credits towards closing costs.

However, some sellers will require you to purchase the property "AS IS" (there is a soft as is and a real as is) where they do not want to negotiate repairs or credit backs after you made an offer - especially true for bank owned property, major fixers and other reasons. But you always have the right to perform inspection and pull out if your assumption on the house condition is vastly different from the inspection result.

So, there is a lot to your question. Being a first time home buyer' it is highly recommended that you engage a quality realtor's service who will see you through all these.

Sylvia
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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All these answers are correct. However, I find that Buyers are better serviced when the Seller has provided inspections for Buyer review, even if a Buyer decides he wants to pay for a second one later.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
You would not want to pay $300 plus dollars for a home you may not even get an offer accepted on.
The contract should be contengent on the Inspection.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
You could always ask to do an inspection before making an offer, but that would require you to invest, probably several hundred dollars, before you even know if you and the seller can come to terms on the purchase.

When you make an offer, you make it predicated on what is known about the property. Example: The stove is older, but it works fine. You knew from looking at the property that the stove was older. But, if it doesn't work, you may ask the seller to repair it. An inspection report is not meant to be the catalyst for a new round of negotiations, but there are usually some details that need to worked out either via repair or credit.

The language of the contract will determine your rights and deadlines pertaining to inspections.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
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It is custom that the buyer orders inspections after the accepted offer. However, you can ask permission (in writing) to have an inspection prior. The cost of a home inspection in the Bay Area usually ranges between $350 -500 depending upon the size of the home.

If you have you inspection after an offer is accepted the contract usually give you a time frame to have any and all inspections and the right to approve, disapprove and/or negotiate repairs. I notices you are in Santa Clara, your Realtor maybe using PRDS or CAR forms. I know the CAR forms provide an inspection contingency for the buyer. Hope this helps and good luck.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
MVP'08
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You don't want to spend $250-500 on an inspection unless you know the house can't be sold to another buyer.

Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You! Follow the links below.


Alysse Musgrave
Consumer Advocate
Exclusive Buyer Agent

Best selling author of Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You! US, Texas, and Spanish versions available.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 29, 2015
The Arizona contract has specific lines dedicated to whether or not you want an inspection and also the time period in which the inspectionmust be completed after an accepted offer. HUD recommends that all home buyers do an inspection. Realtors do not have the expertise to complete a home inspection. If there are things that are discovered during a home inspection, you can request repairs or money in lieu of repairs. But doing a home inspection gives you a negotiating mechanism prior to the final acceptance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 28, 2015
It's up to the Buyer to do his own due-diligence. If a home inspection were provided to you by the Seller, would you trust that inspection? Maybe so. There are several properties available for purchase wherein the Seller has done a pre-inspection and regardless of the outcome of that inspection, they are required to disclose that to any potential buyer. If you still want to do your own inspection, you can pay for your own and have it done. If you have made the offer "contingent" upon the results of your own inspection then you will have a certain period of time in which you are allowed to back out of the sale. This is specified in Paragraph 14 of the California Residential Purchase Agreement. This contract should be used when making any offer on Calif real estate. It is approved by the California Association of Realtors and their team of legal experts and is designed to protect you. Feel free to search the MLS for free on my website below. If a property interests you, call me and I will let you know if the Seller has already done an inspection so you don't have to. Hope this helps you. Kind regards.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 30, 2008
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