Date Archives: February 2022

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Real Estate Tips | 25 Posts

What You Should Know About Ordering Inspections on Your Next Home!

When you enter into contract on a property, the first two weeks or so can feel overwhelming. This time frame is where you're doing your due diligence to learn as much about the property as possible through inspections. Most buyers, though, don't know exactly what inspections they should be ordering or how to prepare. So, I'm going to break everything down and discuss the types of inspections that are beneficial to most home buyers.  

Before I do that, I want to mention budgeting. The buyer is likely going to responsible for all of the costs associated with generating reports on the condition of the property. I always tell my clients to budget between 600 to 700 dollars for this process, but if the situation arises that additional inspections are required, you could spend over 1,000 to get a clear picture of the condition of the property. 

Your agent should be able to point you in the direction of reputable inspection contractors that can be hired for reasonable fees, but the inspections you have performed and who you choose to perform them is entirely your decision. We generally suggest between four and five companies that we've worked with for your to research and make a decision.

Let's dive in to the types of inspections you should be considering. 

-First is going to be the general home inspection. This inspection will generate a report that will give you an overview of the condition of the home in general, including the roof and mechanicals. Your inspector will likely make comments on things that need repaired or replaced for the home to be safe. 

-Next is a gas line inspection to determine if there are any gas leaks on the property. 

-You should also consider a wood destroying insect inspection to examine whether or not there is any past or current activity that needs addressed. 

-If the property is not on city water and sewer, you're also going to want the well and septic system inspected so that you can make sure those systems are functioning properly. 

-Another inspection that has become common recently are the radon inspection, which will tell you whether or not the home meets the standards for the hazardous gas of radon. Radon is a carcinogen that can increase your likelihood of developing lung cancer when exposed to high amounts over decades of time.  It's common, especially in Knox County, to have radon levels that are higher than recommended, so you want to get an idea of what the level is at the property you're purchasing. 

-Finally, if you're purchasing a home that is on city water and sewer, and that home has been around for a century or longer, your sewer line might be made of clay tile. These systems, over time, might crack, so you want to consider having the sewer line camera'd. This will give you an idea of whether or not there is damage to account for repairing. 

It is possible that the property you're buying will require additional inspections. Your inspector will be able to direct you to more specialized reports that should be gathered, should the need arise. A common example is if there are noted structural concerns, your inspector will likely recommend that a structural engineer examine the property's integrity. This is also common with mold found in a home. While mold is likely to be found in any home, a mold mitigation company can identify whether or not there are toxic molds present.

You will have a specific period of time written in your contract for inspections. By that deadline, it's important that you have all of your reports on hand so that you can have the clarity necessary in order to move into the Agreement to Remedy phase. We'll cover that next in our Buyer Education Series.

We hope you're finding this information helpful! If you would like to speak with an agent about your real estate goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us at

Till next time,
Cassie Johnson
Key Realty - John Yoder Team


How to Structure a Competitive Offer

So you've gone on showings and you feel like you've found a property that meets your needs. What's next?

Well, you're going to need to offer to purchase with hope that the seller accepts your offer— we call this entering into contract. If you've followed our advice so far, you have your pre-approval letter, you've looked over the disclosures on the home, and your stellar agent has answered your questions about the property. So, you've done everything you need in order to prepare to make an offer.

But if you know anything about the market right now, there are more buyers than there are homes available. That means you need more than just an offer. You need to make a competitive offer. So how do you do that?

Hopefully, you and your agent discussed competitive strategies in the buyer consultation. If not, you'll want to have that conversation. They will likely have advice for you, but it should include some combination of the following:

  1. Your agent should be reaching out to the listing agent right away to see if the sellers are looking for anything in particular in an offer. Often, sellers are appreciative of extended possession after closing, earnest money, or shorter inspection periods, etc.
  2. Escalation clauses are a good way to be competitive on price that still protects you. With this clause, you can offer to pay a certain dollar amount over the highest offer, so long as it does not exceed the cap amount that you determine for yourself. The purchase price can land anywhere in between your offer price (likely the asking price) and your cap.
  3. Appraisal gap clauses also help make your offer more competitive, and they add a lot of meat to your offer if you use the escalation clause or offer over asking. If you have more cash that you can use to close the deal, you can offer to cover any gap that may occur between the contract price and a low appraisal. This will give the seller more confidence that the deal will close at the price agreed upon.
  4. It's also important that you have a pre-approval with a reputable and local lender that the sellers will feel confident in. Find someone who has the reputation of closing deals, and closing them on time.

Last year, many buyers were waiving home inspections all-together in order to be more competitive. We strongly discourage waiving inspections unless you have extensive experience as a home inspector yourself, or as a contractor. As an alternative to waiving inspections, discuss shortening your inspection window or limiting the types of inspections you perform with your agent. Just make sure this is an appropriate strategy for you. If the home is older, or has a lot of signs of disrepair, it is likely not a bad idea to waive any inspections.

We'll talk more in depth about inspections in our next Buyer Education Series module. We hope you're finding this information helpful! If you would like to speak with an agent about your real estate goals, don't hesitate to reach out! Contact Us

Until then,
Cassie Johnson
Key Realty - John Yoder Team

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