A common question we get from our real estate buyers is the difference between a specific inspection or a regular home inspection and a general inspection. We urge all of our homebuyers to get a home inspection contingency when they make an offer. This means that the buyers will not agree to finalize the sale on the home until an inspection has been completed and approved.
A general inspection is where the buyer pays for an inspection and can either continue with the purchase or terminate the transaction if they are not satisfied. This is the most common type and it allows the buyer to back out if they are not satisfied with the results of the inspection report or the response from the seller.
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Contingency is known as "specific contingency" in which the buyer has completed the inspection and must submit a list of items to be repaired or corrected by the seller. The seller that has three days to advise the buyer whether they will do any of the repairs or replace the items on the list. After this time frame the buyer has one additional day in which to determine whether to continue to purchase the property or terminate the transaction.
Buyer always has recourse with a general home inspection to cancel the home purchase if they are not satisfied with the results or the response. In a general inspection there's usually no back and forth negotiations. The buyer can void the contract with asking for anything but cannot usually negotiate for non-required items.
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Specific inspections may also be an additional inspection on top of the traditional home inspection. The specific home inspection may focus on one area of concern such as a septic tank, roof, foundation or pest issue. If the general home inspector feels that this area is in need of more inspection the home inspectors not qualified to make a general analysis of this area, they may recommend a specific inspection. However, it is up to the home buyer whether they choose to go forward with an additional inspection. These specific inspections could cost several hundred dollars but will be well worth it.
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We recently had a homebuyer that have general inspection on a home with a septic system. The inspector suggested having an additional inspection on the septic tank to verify if it had been pumped recently and it stability and integrity. The buyers chose not to have this additional inspection and carried through with the transaction nonetheless. Three months after the deal closed the septic tank overflowed and caused thousands of dollars of damage and needed to be replaced at the cost of $10,000. Had the buyers have this additional inspection of know about the additional concerns and may not have purchased the property or may have asked the seller to remedy the situation before closing.
Ask your real estate agent about the differences between general inspections, home inspections and specific inspections and what they can ask for, not ask for and the recourses that buyers may have. It is imperative and important in the home buying process.
For more information on home inspections contact our office today.