It is a new year and with it comes new home purchases and sales. This post is intended to remind Buyers, Brokers and Realtors of the importance of the home inspection during a purchase.
After the Offer has been negotiated and accepted, a Buyer needs to spring into action to determine that their new home does not have hidden defects and is worth purchasing. A home inspection by a professional and competent property inspector is crucial. Massachusetts requires home inspectors to be licensed (See M.G.L. c. 112 s. 221). Your attorney can help you interpret your home inspection report and help explain how it relates to your purchase.
Below are a few tips for realtors, brokers, and buyers who are working with an inspector:
1. Inspector Must Be Licensed: Massachusetts requires home inspectors be certified. Make sure your inspector is licensed / certified.
2. Understand the Limits of the Home Inspection: A home inspection is not a complete engineering study or zoning opinion. If you have concerns about the extent of your inspection speak with your attorney and your inspector to understand what does and does not fall under the inspection. For instance, home inspections are not lead paint inspections. Massachusetts law requires home inspectors to charge an additional fee and represent that a lead paint inspection is beyond the scope of the home inspection.
3. Be Present During the Inspection: Follow the inspector as he examines the property, ask questions, take notes, BE PROACTIVE! A home inspection may potentially reveal critical structural issues / concerns. While a home inspector is required to provide a written report, a first-hand observation of the property during the inspection is more revealing and informative.
4. Assigning Repairs Post-Inspection: It is not uncommon for an inspection to reveal minor defects or needed repairs (ex. wood rot, wall / ceiling repair, etc.). Depending on the extent of the needed work you should ensure that such work is completed by a licensed professional, that any necessary permits are pulled / obtained, and that the Seller provides sufficient proof of the work performed. All of this should be documented, ideally in the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S).
5. Additional Inspections: As previously stated, a home inspection is limited. Depending on the Buyer’s specific concerns and the facts and circumstances surrounding the property it may be prudent to obtain a: lead pain inspection, pest inspection, radon inspection, potable water test, mold test, and/or energy audit. These inspections will be the topic of a later post.
I wish you all the best,
Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP
310 Washington Street, Suite 201
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481
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