Now that the seller has accepted your offer you have a contractually agreed upon timeline to remove your home inspection and other contingencies. The California Residential Purchase Agreement stipulates that the house you bought is sold in “AS IS” condition.
In other words you accept the house in its current condition at the time of purchase. The California Civil Code does require sellers install smoke detectors in each sleeping quarter. They may be battery operated. Confirm that the batteries are working. The newest law mandates all homeowners, whether or not you are selling, must install one carbon monoxide detector on each level of the house.
It is never a good idea to waive your right to a home inspection. The average cost of a home inspection is $300-$500 depending on the living square footage. The seller is not obligated to make any repairs recommended in the inspection report but many sellers will negotiate to do some or all repairs or issue monetary compensation through the close of escrow.
An inspector may recommend you contact a professional in a field for a particular repair such as the furnace or air conditioner. Think of it as your primary care physician referring you to a gastroenterologist specialist. Major issues of contention that could be deal breakers include structural damage, mold, excessive moisture, major roof damage or considerable soil expansion that might compromise the foundation.
Yesterday, I spoke with a woman whose home I will be putting on the market next month. She voiced concern about the possibility of the home inspection revealing some unknown issue. A seller may be wise to have a home inspection prior to listing her home for sale. It’s a proactive method to address any potential buyer objections.
Some of the minor items most often noted in the report are: no spark arrestor on the chimney, no C-clamp to keep the fireplace flute open, no GFCI (grounded electrical)
near water sources such as kitchen, baths, laundry sinks, exterior pool and spa equipment. Remove any extension cords used in place of hard wiring particularly in the garage.
An automatic reverse mode is required on all motorized garage doors so that if an obstacle was preventing the garage door from closing it would reverse to the open position. The door from the garage into the house should have an automatic closure. Check for moisture under the sinks. Do the sink and bath tub stoppers work properly? Does water drain effectively from the sinks, showers and bathtub? Are all the appliances operational? Do all the circuit breakers work? Are their tripping hazards in or outside the house? Does the roof have loose tiles or shingles?
Finally, sellers may want to consider a home warranty during the time the house is on the market. It will cover all unknown pre-existing conditions. The approximate cost is sixty cents per day. My friend, Patricia Vidal of Realty One Group has shared stories with me of a water heater exploding three days prior to close of escrow. Another time she was representing a seller on a tenant occupied property with a leak behind the shower wall.
The repairs would have cost several hundred dollars rather than the sixty dollar home warranty service fee. Buying or selling a home doesn’t have to be a nerve wracking experience if you have savvy professional representation.