You found your property!  Everything is negotiated and signed! I am super duper happy for you!! One little question, are you paying for an Option Period? An Option Period is a negotiable length of time (7-10 days is typical in our market) for a monetary amount and gives the buyer an option to walk away for ANY reason, whatsoever and NOT lose their earnest money. So if you sign the contract and wake up with a cold sweat and maybe cold feet as well, you can back out.  The only money you will be out after the Termination of Contract is signed, is Option Period money and that is given to the seller. You will need to pay for your home inspection up front to the Professional Inspector, but this is an investment to keep peace of mind, so I would not consider this a loss. Typically, the duration of the Option Period is when a buyer hires a Professional inspector with a license from Texas Real Estate Commission aka TREC, to inspect the property. Your Broker/Realtor should thoroughly explain this process to you.

The majority of home buyers want to have peace of mind about the home they are purchasing. It is a very large investment. Before they sign that final dotted line at closing (and believe me I have seen hundreds of documents to be signed at closing), they want to ensure their new home is structurally sound and safe. 

You might think to yourself, an appraisal is being completed for the purchase of my new home. If you are financing your new home, a lender will require an appraisal. If you are a cash buyer, you may order an appraisal yourself to ensure the price you are paying for your new property is fair.  An Appraiser’s job is to derive value. They are not a Professional Inspector. Appraiser’s may flag certain items on their appraisal inspection report for the lender to review; however again, they are not licensed to perform home inspections as a Licensed Home Inspector. 

A home inspection reveals critical information about the condition of the home and the home system, aka any or all the components that make up the home.  Home inspections can uncover potential life threatening problems as well. Examples would be mold, faulty wiring, asbestos, radon gas, carbon monoxide, lead-based paint and sometimes structural defects that could present a safety hazard. The various aspects of a home inspection include visual assessments, foundation problems, roof condition, interior and exterior water damage, heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing issues or hazards, septic, appliance assessment, home’s insulation, etc, to name a few. 

An inspection report could look super scary to a first time home buyer. Sometimes there are many pages of items that are listed that are defective. A really reputable Professional Inspector will talk to the buyer and go through these items with them. Sometimes the items are very minor and do not affect the livability to the Subject Property.  Their trusted inspector can explain these items very thoroughly and let me know if there are red flags they need to be aware of. If the property has repairs that need to be addressed, the Buyer’s Broker/Realtor can consult with the Listing Broker/Realtor during the Option Period and negotiate the repairs. Keep in mind, most seller’s have no idea of items that are in need of repair before listing their property. Seller’s can always call a Professional Inspector themselves and have an inspection done prior to listing.  I do love an amazing surprise, however; hefty repair costs are not a favorite of mine.  

It would be really beneficial to sellers and no surprises.

Typically a Professional Inspector is at a property for 2-4 hours and each Inspector charges differently for inspections. Word to the wise, call three inspectors and ask them about the details of their inspection report and the cost. Our local Inspectors are all amazing, super genuine and friendly. 

In the event that the home inspection finds issues more than you’re willing to take on, that’s where paying for the Option Period shines.  You can back out of the deal and keep your earnest money!  A great value for peace of mind.

Until next time friends, happy buying and selling!