Podcast: How To Know What Home Inspections To Get

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Real Estate

Real Estate Agent Man: The Podcast

Secrets of Florida Real Estate That Should Not Be Secrets

Season 1 Episode 9  ( Transcribed for the hearing impaired: Transcription below by artificial intelligence software - errors are inevitable)

Steve Martin Smith 

You are tuned into the Real Estate Agent Man Podcast coming to you from Sarasota County, Florida.
Future buyers and sellers, this podcast is for you. It's the place we discuss secrets of Florida real estate that should not be secrets.
That was my attempt at whistling the Inspector Gadget theme song, because today we're talking about inspections.

Mysterious Announcer Woman  

And now your host of today's program, Steve Martin Smith.

Steve Martin Smith   

I have often said that getting the buyer and seller from contract to closing is the most challenging part of our job. Now, what do I mean by that? In the daily life of a Realtor™, a buyer may contact us and say, "We would like you to help us find a house." What they really mean, is that they want us to help them own a house. Finding a house is actually about the easiest part of the process. Once we bring them to a property that they fall in love with and want to own, well, then we have to draft up the documentation and negotiate a contract. It's not just about price, it's about price and terms. Part of the terms is the inspection period. Why is that inspection period in there? Well, it's because they may love the house the way it looks, but if there's something wrong with the house that they're not seeing right now, that could change their view on whether or not they're willing to pay that price for it, or even still own it at all. Often after the inspections, we're going back to the negotiating table, and we're trying to figure out at that point if the seller is going to pay for some repairs, are the buyer or seller maybe going to go halfsies on something, is the house just in too rough of condition to even be repaired to the point where the buyers would be willing to own it? There's a lot of things involved with that. The type of contract that the offer is written on is critical to being able to negotiate through that process; you really have to understand the details of the two main Florida contracts, in order to know which contract is going to best suit you as you are trying to work through these negotiations. All that needs to be figured out before you write the offer. Since this is not a podcast on contracts, it is a podcast on inspections, I'm just going to leave that there. We can talk about contracts in more detail at another time. 

Yesterday, I was at an inspection for underground pipes. Not everybody does inspections for underground pipes. It is a recommendation that I have learned to make to my buyers, that they may want to get that checked if that is important to them.  Sometimes that can be a deal killer, just like septic tanks can be a deal killer. If the pipes are shot, and you have to dig up the pipes, it can easily be an $8,000 expense, just to do the pipes. Then you're redoing all of your flooring in your house. I was recently walking my dogs,  and I walked past a house that had just closed.  I wasn't involved in the sale at all, but I had been watching the house because it had been on the market in my neighborhood. The deal is now closed. I'm walking the dogs, and I see large chunks of concrete in the garage in the driveway. I knew exactly what it was:  they were digging up the pipes in the house, tearing up the flooring. That was not something that the buyers had expected to have to do. They knew they were going to have to get the pipes cleaned out, so they closed on the house, and got them cleaned out. While they were doing that one of the pipes, or multiple, I don't know, burst. So at that point, they're now redoing all the pipes and all the flooring. These are some things that can happen when you're buying a house. You want to make sure that you are getting good counsel on what types of inspections are available to you so that you might be able to avoid these scenarios. Knowing how important all this is, is why when I first meet with buyers, I go through this checklist of items, and I discuss multiple things with them that are going to be important to the process. Inspections are part of that. It is important that as soon as possible, you start looking into what inspections you're going to want. Certainly whatever house you buy, you would probably want a general inspection and a pest inspection. Depending on whether there is a septic tank involved, you know, of course, we've determined that. All homes have pipes underneath them;  is that something you're going to want to have inspected? These are conversations that you should be having with your Realtor™ and figuring out what inspectors you're going to want to use before you get a house under contract. If you wait until you get your house under contract, then you're scrambling to find inspectors. Your inspection period is only so long, it's very common to have them negotiate it anywhere between seven days and 15 days. So even if you have 15 days, that may seem like a lot of time, sometimes the inspector that you've chosen is really busy or on vacation. You really need to get that figured out sooner than later.

Well, this was really meant to be an overview on inspections. Hopefully, in the future, I can get some professional inspectors in the podcast studio with me here, and we can give you more details. For now, walk away with this: If you're thinking about buying a house, start thinking about what inspectors you are going to need and make contacts with them. Find out what they charge, find out what they do. Just ask them, "If I hire you to do my inspection, what are you going to inspect? How are you going to relay that information to me?" If you'll just do that up front, at about the same time you're contacting a Realtor™, or at the same time you're contacting a mortgage broker, just do it earlier in the process than what I see most people do, which is they find a house and they ask the Realtor™, "Hey, who should I get to inspect?" That is not the right way to do this. 

Well, I do hope that you are finding this information helpful, and that you would take a moment to tell the world by rating this podcast, hopefully with five stars, and putting  some details in so that the reader of the review can see it's not just one of my friends giving me a five star review, but somebody who actually is getting good information from this podcast. Remember SteveMartinHomesGroup.com for your slice of Florida. 

Steve Martin Smith REMAX Platinum Realty and Steve Martin homes, for your slice of Florida.

Steve Martin Smith has sold more Sarasota County homes than 98% of the area’s REALTORS from January 2015 through December 2020. Steve finished 2020 as the #1 selling REALTOR at RE/MAX Platinum Realty. Selling $1,000,000+ estates from Panther Ridge in Manatee County to condos in Punta Gorda, he is truly a tri-county REALTOR. Originally from the Detroit area, Steve discovered Sarasota County in 1983 and then moved his young family here in 1998. In his life before real estate, Steve worked corporate business management positions for 25 years while simultaneously volunteering in youth and family ministry roles with his wife Katrina. Today, along with their adult children, they enjoy helping families to realize their goals and dreams. Steve also fancies himself a song writer and plays guitar whenever he gets the chance.

*as recorded by Stellar MLS for the period of 1/1/2015 through 12/31/2020