House for SaleWith the real estate market being in a slump right now, buyers can take such advantage of their strong bargaining position! Trusting the broker can be the hardest part of buying a house. Being a prepared home shopper can be the best bargaining tool you have.

The most important thing you need to do as a buyer is hire a highly skilled inspector. Most homeowners in the state of Illinois require you to have an inspection within 10 days of signing the contract. This doesn’t give you a lot of time to find an inspector.

COMMON MISSTATEMENTS MADE BY REAL ESTATE BROKERS:

  • “The mechanicals have all been recently replaced”,
  • “This item was just repaired”,
  • “The house is environmentally safe.”

PROTECT YOURSELF BY HIRING THE RIGHT INSPECTOR:

  1. Hire an inspector from another city: Inspectors’ biggest referral source is from brokers. You need a fair, impartial inspector.
  2. Hire a NACHI inspector: highest certification you can have as an inspector: 24 hours/year vs. IL law of 6 hours/year. 40% of all inspectors are certified by NACHI.
  3. Website for sellers to promote the “proper selling state” of their house: www.moveincertified.com. Website that posts if your house is in move-in condition—inspected by NACHI inspectors (highly skilled).
  4. Don’t worry if something has been replaced. But if it has been repaired, what problem is hiding underneath?
  5. Make sure your inspector is certified in environmental issues. Check with the EPA in your neighbourhood for any clean-up site nearby.
  6. Don’t count on inspectors to know LEGAL issues, like going over the property line, etc.
  7. Find out from the inspector what you can do to make your house more environmentally safe—better water quality, removing mold, becoming green-certified.
  8. Prepare to spend $400 for a complete, NACHI-certified inspector.
  9. Report bad inspectors to: State of Illinois Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation—they have the ability to pull the license of an incompetent home inspector.
  10. Most important thing you can do: look at overall cleanliness of house—good indicator that the house is well cared for.

TO FIND AN INSPECTOR:

Go to inspectornow.com: insert your phone number and inspectors who live nearby will call you. All inspectors members of NACHI.

TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT INSPECTIONS:

Visit asknachi.org. An expert in your area will respond immediately.

Jennifer Litwin