In this buyers market, it seems as if some homes may never sell. Countless showings, numerous cancellations, incomplete feedback and low-ball offers are just some issues sellers are dealing with.
But the new trend is the overzealous home inspector. While many of these individuals are professionals, there are an increased amount of them who are not. They are only interested in gathering their extensive knowledge they have learned from their increased amount of required training, and turning it into a nightmare for some sellers.
Under most Illinois real estate contracts, the buyer has 5 business days after the signing of the contract by both parties to conduct an inspection and request repairs from the seller through their attorney.
Until a few years ago, home inspectors were not required to be licensed in Illinois. While this has stopped many underqualified people from requesting certain issues be fixed, this falls under the "be careful what you wish for category".
We have seen a dramatic increase of not only upgrades being defined as "hazards" by inspectors, but language being used such as "expected useful life of the furnace" or the dishwasher will be no longer useful "soon".
I find it amazing how one person can walk into a house they have never been in before and declare that the roof will only last "3-5 more years", or the furnace will need replacing in "1-2 years".
Keep in mind that these inspectors charge from $250 to $500 dollars and sometimes more in the Chicago area, and they have to justify their hour-and-a half rate by coming up with as many issues as they can.
The phrases "probable corrosion" or "possible mold" scare buyers to death, especially 1st timers. We had a deal last year that fell apart partly because the inspector noted "possible asbestos" in a 35 year old home in Bolingbrook. No sir, this was not asbestos. It was foam tile.
So when you get that contract and it comes time to have the home inspection, cross your fingers, call your lawyer, and perhaps bake some cookies-in case the inspector gets hungry. You need all the help you can get.