Home Inspections: Before or After the Offer?
Timing Your Orange County Home Inspection
Most commonly, you will order an inspection after you know your offer is acceptable to the seller. If the price you are prepared to pay seems to have no chance of buying the home, paying for an inspection ($250 - $500 average cost) is a waste of money. That's the conventional thinking and is usually sound advice.
However, homebuying is a flexible undertaking and much is dictated by the particular circumstance in which you find yourself. It isn't always best to leave your professional new Orange County home inspection until your offer has been accepted. You could have this carried out between offers, while the negotiation is still in progress. Perhaps you'll decide to have the home inspected before you make your second, third, or final offer when it can be the catalyst in making the deal. Naturally, any offer you make before the inspection will carry a contingency clause stating that you will go through with the deal only if the home inspection results are satisfactory to you.
A later home inspection can sometimes give you even greater advantage than an early one.
Let's say you have reached agreement with the seller. You have negotiated well and have obtained a satisfactory reduction in the selling price. The seller's anticipation is heightened. He sees the deal as a done thing. He is glad the whole process is over. Then, if the inspection reveals problems, it is much harder (psychologically) for him to back out. He is far more likely to agree to a lower sales price or, at least, pay for the repairs or replacements that are needed.
If you are buying Orange County real estate for the first time or you are new to negotiating, it is probably better to negotiate a price first. Then, have an inspection carried out and try to get the seller to pay for any work you consider necessary or to agree to a lower price.
Ask Buyer's Broker about home inspections in Orange County.
This Home Buying Tip was excerpted from:
Not One Dollar More!, by Joseph Eamon Cummins, Kells Media Group, 1995.