1. The house is fine, but I could make it look bad.
As the housing market recovers in the UAE, more buyers and sellers will be getting introduced to one of the most nerve-racking rituals in real estate: the home inspection.
An inspection, which usually occurs after a buyer has made an offer, is meant to be an objective analysis of a home’s condition. Twenty years ago, 75% of purchased homes in North America were inspected; today, it’s 95%, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a Des Plaines, Ill.-based industry trade group. The trick is finding an inspector who can relay the critical information and put it in context. Communication and a strong, yet easy to understand inspection report is key for home buyer to see the fact and take the decision accordingly, removing any subjectivity from the mix.
2. Get the house, not the inspection.
Most realtors and real estate lawyers recommend including inspection condition in purchase contracts. But in most cases the law doesn’t actually require an inspection. And in hotter markets, some buyers are opting to skip them. In a competitive bid situation “an offer for $880,000 with no inspection condition will likely win over a $900,000 offer with an inspection contingency. Of course, skipping an inspection can leave you in a different kind of hot water. If an inspection turns up a home defect, the seller will be under pressure to either drop their price or fix the problem. If the buyers waive that option, and find a defect afterward, they’re on their own when it comes to repairs.
3. Qualifications? I may not have any…
Only about two-thirds of the states and provinces in North America have laws regulating home inspectors. Luckily in the UAE, there are strict license regulations for a company to offer property inspection services. This is key because If a not-so-sharp/unqualified inspector misses a defect, this can be costly or even pose safety hazard for the home occupants in the future
It is always advised that you choose a company that is licensed and does not delegate the actual inspection to unqualified staff or skilled workers. In fact, in UAE, one of the licensing requirements is a BSc. in civil engineering in addition to many years of experience in the same field.
In addition, a company that is an active member of an international association of home inspectors, such as InterNACHI, will give you the confidence and you may be able to rest assured that you will get a thorough assessment of your valuable purchase.
4. I’ll cut corners to keep the agents happy.
The inspector ideally should work only for the client. But home inspectors also try to build relationships with agents and brokers to get more business, and that can give them an incentive to play down any problems with a house. Sometimes, the buyer’s agent tries to lean on the home inspector so as not to blow a deal. This is complete unethical business practice!
Experts say homeowners should be wary if an agent or broker that tries to discuss the inspection directly with the inspector and cut out the client.
5. Feel free to watch.
It happens: Some home inspectors are so thorough they can scare a client out of a deal. One way for a buyer to avoid that fate is to accompany the home inspector room-to-room during the actual inspection. You’ll learn a lot about the home that way, and you won’t be surprised when the home inspector comes up with a long list of fixes.
6. You should bring me in earlier.
Traditionally, inspections don’t happen until after the buyer has made an offer: the practice is so standard that most inspectors don’t think to question it. But having a home inspected before submitting an offer is a relatively frequent practice in parts of the united states, and some real-estate agents think it’s a practice worth adopting more widely.
Researchers at the real estate group Redfin in San Francisco say that offers paired with pre-inspections were successful 21 % more often than other offers, and that San Francisco home buyers whose offers included a pre-inspection were more than twice as likely to win a bidding war as those without one.
“It tells the seller that you already know what’s wrong with the home, you still want to buy it, and you’re not going to ask them to pay for repairs later,”
7. To find a serious problem, you may need someone else.
Inspectors admit that there are some problems they aren’t in a good position to detect. “An inspector can look at the exterior of an addition or a recently-remodeled basement, but without pulling the permits, there’s no way of knowing what’s behind the walls”. Luckily, the advance in modrn technology and new tools has made it much easier for home inspectors to detect issues that can not be seen with the normal eye. Make sure you hire an inspection company that deploy state of the art tools and equipements.
8. I can make money from the problems I find.
There’s always the potential for conflicts of interest in a business where one hand washes the other. Many home inspectors either used to be general contractors, or still do such work on the side. And it isn’t unheard of for an inspector to steer a home buyer to a pal’s firm, or even to the inspector’s own contracting business, to repair the very same flaws the inspection turned up.
Be mindful as this is a common practice in the UAE. Choosing a property inspector that has no alliances with any repair or maintenance companies is prudent.
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