Once you’re under contract on the home you’re buying in Chicago, you’ll want to conduct a home inspection to properly do your due diligence. If you’re a seller, you’ll also want to know what to expect from a buyer who’s having a home inspection completed on your home. It can make or break a deal, but more often than not there are requests by the buyer for credits or fixes to mitigate anything uncovered during the inspection.
The Chicago Home Inspection
For Chicago home inspections, many times you’re buying into a condo association and buyers may expect the inspector to look at the whole building. However, the inspector is primarily concerned with the unit itself, the systems within, and how it functions within the building as a whole. While the inspector may look at items outside of the unit, it’s primarily to inform the buyer of concerns that may arise that need to be brought up to the association. These are generally outside the scope of what can be negotiated, but a buyer may want a credit for items that are coming up later with the association, such as a roof special assessment, a tuckpointing project, or replacing common water heaters.
Chicago Home Inspections for Buyers
If you’re the one buying a home, you will want to attend the inspection and use this time to learn about the inner-workings of the home you’re purchasing, as well as seeing any issues first hand. An inspector will point out every item he/she thinks are worth keeping an eye on for the future, are sufficiently deficient, or are hazards. Your focus should be on the HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, and foundation/construction of the unit/home. Cosmetic fixes are not what inspections are for, however an inspector may still point these out. These are not something to ask a seller to credit or fix. Once you have the report back from the inspector, you will want to ask for credits for major health or safety hazards, or to have the seller repair these. If the issues prove to be fairly large, you may need to negotiate a larger credit or think about walking away from the deal. It’s a tough call, but most of the time the seller will want to fix a major problem as they will have to disclose it anyway to the next buyer.
Chicago Home Inspections for Sellers
If you’re selling your home, make sure your agent attends the inspection to be able to respond to any concerns that come up right then. Many times an inspector may not be aware of quirks of a home and an agent can mitigate any issues that could cause a buyer to have concerns or get cold feet. Before you put your home on the market, it’s a good idea to have a pre-inspection done and address any major health or safety hazards. Generally you want to fix anything that could cause injury if not addressed. Many times buyers over ask for items to be fixed. For example, I’ve had buyers on my listings ask for the air filter to be replaced (a $5, 10 second fix), the rust on a garage floor to be cleaned (really?), and door latches to be screwed tightly. This is not what an inspection is for. Buyers should be focused on items that would cost over $250 to fix and as a seller, you have every right to say no to many requests. However, it’s up to you how much you want to take on. If you’re happy to fix most of the items brought up, that’s up to you. Keeping your buyer happy is always a good idea.
Inspections can seem to be scary for buyers and confusing to sellers who think their home is functioning just fine. Keeping lines of communication open and a level head will go a long way to ensuring the deal keeps moving forward. Negotiate the fixes or credits necessary, and move on to the next step. A Chicago home inspection does not have to be as intimidating a process as you think.
If you’re considering selling your home, send me a message and we can talk about having a pre-inspection done. If you’re a buyer, feel free to reach out to ask more about an inspection and the home buying process. If you need a home buying checklist, check out this one from Home Depot.
Andrew Hasdal | 847.373.8114 | email@example.com