Putting down an offer on a home for sale is a big step in the home-buying process. However, it is not a step to be taken lightly. It's important for your offer to have what are called "contingencies" tied to it. This means that, regardless of what you offered to pay, you can pull out of the deal if certain criteria are not met. Two of the most important are related to the inspections of the home that need to be completed. Here is a rundown of why you will want to tie inspection results into your offer as contingencies.
The Results of the Home Inspection
Your offer being contingent upon the home inspection keeps you from getting surprised after you've closed on the house. It also keeps you from buying a house that has major, costly problems.This contingency states that you can back out of the offer if something glaring (to a professional) or exorbitantly expensive is found to be wrong with the home prior to purchase. For example, the house could need a new roof (up to $30,000) or have foundation damage (can cost over $10,000). These kinds of problems are often not recognizable by someone other than an experienced contractor.
The Results of the Pest Inspection
"Wasn't this done during the home inspection?" you might be thinking. Not necessarily. If you want a home and pest inspection done at the same time, you'll have to make sure your home inspector is also certified to complete a pest inspection. Otherwise, you will need to hire a separate professional to do this. It's not necessarily the case that you as a home-buyer can tell whether or not a home has a pest problem just by peeking into closet corners or crawlspaces. Termites are a great example of a pest that generally remains hidden, but that a professional with the right equipment may be able to spot.
Also keep in mind that, even though they may not be present at the time of a showing or even a home inspection, some pests will migrate back towards your home once you begin living, eating, and creating waste at your home. Lack of current, visible evidence of pests isn't a guarantee that they aren't an issue for the property.
Getting the appropriate contingencies outlined in your offer is must-have protection during the home-buying process. Be sure to check in with your realtor about making sure that these and other contingencies are included in any offer you make on a home. Contingencies keep you and your money safe.