The 5-10 Day Inspection Period
Once you're under contract, we move into the inspection period. All homes in Michigan are sold ”as is'', so the inspection period is very important as you’ll want to know what's going on with the home before you purchase it.
The inspection period begins once both the Buyer and the Seller have acknowledged the purchase agreement and usually lasts 5-10 days. This is your opportunity to perform the due diligence you feel is necessary in order to comfortably proceed forward with the home purchase.
You will need to hire a home inspector to perform a general home inspection. If you don’t know any, we have a list of inspectors that have served our clients well in the past. But we do recommend that you do your own research and use the home inspector you are most comfortable with.
In addition to the general home inspection, you may want additional inspections such as septic, well and water, radon or termite depending on the particular home. Also, if there is any city, county, or HOA information you have questions about, now is the time to do your research!
All of the inspections / information gathering must be completed during the inspection period. Once the inspection period is over, you will not be able to perform additional inspections on the property.
A little bit of a side note here…. Sometimes we get asked about using a relative or a friend who knows a lot about houses but may not be a licensed home inspector to perform the home inspection. Now, I'm not here to judge or critique the knowledge of….let’s call them “Uncle Joe”, however, there are reasons why we don't recommend that.
First, is liability. There's a section in the purchase agreement that states the Buyer is responsible for any damage done during any inspections. That means if “Uncle Joe'' is in there and happens to knock over or break something, YOU, as the Buyer, are on the hook to get that fixed, replaced, or repaired. However, if a professional home inspector were to knock over or break something, they will have insurance for such events.
Also, a professional home inspector will provide you with a multi-page report including photos and descriptions of the home, its systems, and any concerns. This can then be utilized for clear, concise request of any repairs
And finally, credibility. Home inspectors are licensed and work in the field on a daily basis. There is more credibility if an inspector flags an issue and outlines it in their report than if “Uncle Joe” claims “the AC is messed up”.
OK…Moving on from that side note!
Let's say going into the inspection period, you already know there are some concerns with the roof. In this situation, it might be a good idea to have a roofer come to the home inspection, look at the roof and get you a quote or at least general idea of the cost for repair.
This concept would apply to any other specific concern you have about the home and the associated contractor.
Once you've received the inspection results you may wish to request a couple of repairs. I have a separate email devoted specifically to breaking down that process, so check your inbox for that, it’s coming soon.
Here is what to keep in mind. You, as the Buyer, have the right to request repairs. And the Seller also has the right to deny that request. Again, this is because all homes are sold “as is”.
Any request for repairs must be made during the inspection period. Once the inspection period is over, you can no longer request any repairs.
If there are no repairs to request or you're able to come to an agreement with the Seller on any repairs, you will move forward with the transaction and head on to the appraisal.
However, if anything unforeseen gets uncovered during the inspection, or you are unable to come to a suitable agreement with the Seller in regards to any repairs, you are able to cancel the contract and get your earnest money back in full. As long as it is done during the agreed upon inspection period.
After the inspection period ends and you try to back out of the contract, you may lose your earnest money. So, it’s very important to stay aware of your timelines and dates.
If you do back out of the contract during the inspection period, any fees you have paid to inspectors or contractors during the inspection period will not be returned. Those individuals and vendors have provided their services and you will be out these funds.