When looking to buy a home, when do you do the inspection on the house?

Asked by T.A.B., Gardiner, ME Tue Jul 29, 2008

and when do you pay for it?? Thanks

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Diana Downs, Agent, Bangor, ME
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Inspections are generally done after the offer has been accepted. There will be a time limit for getting them done. During this time you can cancel the agreement or negotiate the cost of repairs with the seller if the inspection doesn't come out to your liking.
It is up to the buyer to hire and pay the inspectors. They generally like to be paid at the time of the inspection.
3 votes
Susan Eldrid…, Agent, Bangor, ME
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Usually you do the inspection after the offer has been accepted. That way you are not paying for something that you might not own. Most inspectors like their money the day they do the inspection.
3 votes
Margaret Mit…, Agent, York, ME
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi T.A.B. - I'll chime in with one more suggestion: Once you have an accepted offer (signed contract), order the inspection right away. The Purchase & Sale Agreement (contract) will specify the number of days that you have to conduct inspections. The days indicated are business days, not calendar days. While each contract is different, many Sellers don't like the inspection period to go past 10 business days, which is two calendar weeks. But if the inspection finds an issue, further inspection or negotiations might be necessary and the intent is to resolve inspection issues, not just find them, within the specified number of business days.
So your best bet is to order the inspection immediately after getting a signed contract.
Good luck!
2 votes
Harrison Wol…, Agent, Hallowell, ME
Sat Dec 15, 2012
You are going to want to wait until you have an effective contract (all terms agreed upon, signed by both parties) before spending your money on an inspection. It would be unfortunate if you couldn't come to terms with the seller on price, and you had already had the inspection done!! I am happy to assist buyers any way that I can. My cell # is 592-8844 if you have any more questions.
1 vote
Jeffrey Camp…, Other Pro, Pittston, ME
Tue Aug 5, 2008
Ok... I will chime in on the inspector side of things. Once in a while we will do a home prior to an offer or an acceptance but I always warn clients, I may do this today and someone else may make an offer tonight before you get the report tomorrow to make your offer... thus losing out on the home and spending the inspection fee for ultimately nothing. We generally email all our reports to speed up the process but hard copies are always available.
1 vote
Melissa T, , Lexington (and Northern VA)
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Of course I agree with the answers below. I had my inspection done almost immediately after the accepted offer so that we could negotiate the fixes. The inspector sent me a bill with a very thorough report in a nice folder (I was in another state) and I mailed a check.

I would have to wonder ... if a house is very old or in questionable condition, someone might want to invest in an inspection prior to making an offer. I've seen many real estate ads that say, like "sold as is - inspections welcome".
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Dec 15, 2012
Excellent responses already. And the responses are applicable to most traditional home sales.
Some homes are marketed with the requirement that offers must be contingency free. That means the inspections must be completed before you write your purchase offer. Homes sold in this manner attract EXPERIENCED home buyers who are able to assess condition more accurately than the buyer who purchases a home every dozen years. This also implies that when the seller accepts your offer...You've just bought a home! NO DO OVERS.
When must an inspection be done to provide the intended protections for the buyer?
Within the time frame specified within the purchase agreement. Typically not more than 15 day after acceptance of purchase offer. (Read contract)
Who pays? You do. By credit card before the inspection. Or pay the inspector directly at the time of the inspection.
I participate in the buying and selling of dozens of homes every year. The extra set of expert eyes the inspector brings into the situation is INVALUABLE. For a few hundred bucks they can save you a lifetime of grief. The buyer and I were so infatuated with the big water view and dolphins playing in the Gulf of Mexico we did not notice until the inspector pointed out the building was being devoured by a condition resulting in unstable ground..
Best of success to you,
0 votes
David Roberts, Agent, South Portland, ME
Wed Apr 22, 2009
There are many types of building inspections and contingency inspections for homes which are traditionally done once a Purchase and Sale offer has been accepted by a seller - General Building, Chimney, Water Quality, Quantity, Air Quality, Zoning, etc, In the purchase and sale offer a buyer will specify the number of business days (often 7-15) to complete the inspections and negotiate any contingency amendments to the offer. It is important to get the inspections completed ASAP to allow time to get results of certain tests (such as Water or Air Quality) so that your agent has time to negotiate adjustments to the offer.
You may also bring in professionals before an offer is submitted -for example - if you suspect a an old snowman type furnace might want to be replaced - you might consult a heating specialist to get an estimate
that you might use to negotiate a better price, or to ask for escrows from the closing to be used for replacement of the system. Inspections are paid for by the purchaser. They are necessary so that home buyers know what they are getting into for possible repair costs before purchasing a home and also can be an eye opener to the fact that you might be getting in over your head and are a way you can get out of an offer should immediate repairs be to much to handle. Time is of the essence.
0 votes
Justme In Ma…, Home Buyer, Maine
Fri Aug 1, 2008
just pay for the stupid thing already im gonna be cold soon
0 votes
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