There's no doubt that buying a home is a complex, long, and overwhelming process. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or you're looking to buy another home, there's one thing you shouldn't skimp on: the home inspection.
Unfortunately, many homebuyers tend to ignore the importance of a thorough home inspection. Sometimes, you may find that your new home may need some repairs, replacements, or even upgrades. While some defects are disclosed early on, it's still best to know the other aspects so you can prepare for the required repairs and replacements.
It’s true that you can inspect a home yourself, but it's much better to have a professional home inspector examine the space so they can spot defects that may worsen over time. With their help, they'll be able to determine defects that have not been disclosed before the sale.
Common Undisclosed Defects Sellers Fail to Reveal
Bad sewer lines;
Rotting wood or termite issues;
Cracks in driveways or house foundation;
Septic system or heater issues;
Bad ventilation or windows;
Electrical and HVAC issues;
The Seller's Responsibility to Disclose Defects
When it comes to disclosure forms and disclosure statements, the state requires sellers to disclose all the material defects present in the property. This means that the seller should list them all out and explain the issues to the buyer. If they refuse or forget, the sale is deemed invalid.
When you discover some material defects and the seller did not disclose these issues before closing the sale, the law gives the buyer the right to cancel the whole transaction.
Understanding Material Defects
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, something is considered a material defect if:
There is a specific issue with a component or system in the property;
If it has a significant or adverse impact on the property's value, and;
If it poses a significant risk to people.
However, you should note that this doesn't always include systems or components beyond the end of their lifespan. For example, a furnace may be working fine, but it is expected to break down after a few years, and this instance is not considered a defective material.
With that being said, it's best to work with professional home inspectors before buying a property since they can focus on the irregularities in material defects present in a home. Their industry-level knowledge ensures that they'll be able to identify which are considered a defect, and a scratch on a surface is not considered one that will make it on the list.
An Overview of a Home Inspector's Liabilities
You should know that it isn't the seller's whole responsibility to disclose defects. Sometimes, the liability will extend to the party's real estate broker, agent, or even the home inspector. With that, it's important to know which individual is liable for each step.
For instance, a seller is liable for the cost of a material defect if a defect on the list is not disclosed or revealed. The buyer can prove to the seller knew about the defect.
On the other hand, the inspector is liable if they are only in it for the home inspection report than the cost of the defect. That’s why you must connect with a reliable home inspector to ensure that your property is being evaluated thoroughly and eliminate misinformation and other risks.
The Bottom Line: Work with a Reputable Home Inspector
Seeing as there are a plethora of things to consider in a property inspection, you must work with a credible home inspector to ensure that all bases are covered and that you're getting what you paid for. With their help, you'll be able to dodge hefty repairs and illegalities, allowing you to step into the home of your dreams with ease.
How Can We Help You?
If you're looking for the best home inspectors in Birmingham, AL, you've come to the right place.
Let's Do It Home Inspections offer high-quality, professional home inspection services to homeowners and realtors, no matter the size of the property.
Reach out to us and learn more about how we can help you today!