Once a contract to purchase has been executed, you the buyer now have the option and time to have a home inspection performed by the inspector of your choice. While a home inspection is not required, it is highly recommended, even for new home purchases.
General Home Inspection
A professional home inspector licensed in Oklahoma will evaluate dozens of items in a home such as the roof, plumbing, A/C unit, foundation, electrical and structural systems. The inspector will provide you a written report of problems they have found. You can then choose to have further detailed inspections if you like, such as a HVAC inspection, foundation specialist inspection, or others. A general inspection is not meant to uncover or answer every single problem that might occur in your home – rather they are there to give you a general overview of the condition of your potential home purchase. It is up to you as the buyer to choose if you want more detailed inspections by specialists such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC experts. Of course, you as the buyer must pay for these inspections. A qualified inspector will test heat & air, plumbing, fixtures, windows, appliances and electrical, as well as wastewater and well if applicable.
There is a saying in Oklahoma, there are homes with termites and those that will some day be infested with termites. Termite treatment is just a fact of life with home ownership. Prior to purchasing your home you should have a qualified termite inspection company inspect for termites. In fact if you are financing your home, your mortgage company will require you to have the home inspected. If the inspector finds termites, or evidence of infestation in the past, it is not the end of the road for your home purchase. The key is treatment. Has the home been treated in the past, and can it be treated now to eliminate the termite problem? An inspector will provide you a written report on their findings and often provide you a one year warranty that if any termites appear, the termite company will treat the home at no cost. You can then choose to extend that warranty into the future as the new homeowner.
Depending on the findings by the general home inspector, you may wish to have further inspections of the home by specialists such as an electrician, licensed plumber, or HVAC specialist. Of course as the buyer you have to pay for these inspections, but they can save you potentially thousands of dollars in repairs. Of course no inspector, no matter how skilled, can predict every future problem you might have. Most only promise the system is working at the time of the inspection. Even with the best HVAC inspector, your A/C compressor can fail a week after closing and you are still liable for the repairs.
Once you have received the inspection reports, you can choose to continue with the purchase or opt out at that time. In the standard OREC purchase contract we typically use, it is the sole discretion of the buyer to continue or cancel the contract if the inspections are unsatisfactory. In most cases if you choose to cancel the contract during your alloted 10 day inspection period, you get a full refund of your earnest money. But you want to be careful and not just cancel on a whim, since the seller has taken their property off the market, maybe even placed a contract on another home, and can become litigious if you cancel without a good reason.
TRR (Treatments, Repairs and Replacements
Once the inspections are complete, I will help you prepare a document we call TRR’s. This document provides detailed information to the seller on what items from the inspections you would like repaired. The items must be defects in the home, not cosmetic in nature.
[otw_shortcode_quote border_style=”bordered” background_pattern=”otw-pattern-1″]TIP: Treatments, Repairs or Replacements (TRR) is a report that the seller provides to the buyer after inspections. It outlines the repairs the buyer feels needs to be made to the property. The seller can then get estimates of the repairs. Buyer and seller can then negotiate the repairs.[/otw_shortcode_quote]
Once the seller has your TRR, they have a specified amount of time in the contract to get estimates for those repairs. Often times on minor repairs (such as a leaking faucet) the seller may choose to repair those themselves. On major items such as electrical and plumbing, we generally require them to get estimates from a licensed tradesman.
If the estimates are under the repair cap, then the seller is responsible for completing the repairs. If the estimates are over the repair cap, then the buyer and seller can either negotiate which repairs they agree to do, or you the buyer can cancel the contract and walk away and receive a full refund of your earnest money.
Final Walk Through
Once all repairs have been completed and preferably after the seller has moved out of the home, just prior to closing, you the buyer have the right to make a final walk-through of the home. This is your chance to make sure the repairs you requested are completed, the home is left in proper working order and everything is as expected. Often this is done the morning of closing, but we prefer to do this walkthrough a day or so in advance so that any problems that arise can be rectified.
Items to Inspect
- Structural – foundation, roof, slab
- Well (if applicable)
- HVAC system
You are welcome to use any inspector you choose, but I have worked with many excellent inspectors over the years who have provided outstanding service to past clients. Below is a list of inspectors I recommend.
Oklahoma Termite – 405-330-5030