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THE HOME INSPECTION - PURPOSE AND SCOPE
In Colorado, it is not a requirement to provide the Buyer(s) with a Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) but is always recommended. It will be disclosed in the MLS if it is or is not being provided by the Seller. The SPDS must be current at the time of the listing contract and then verified that all information remains the same or identify items that have changed at time of offer. Buyers who purchase a bank foreclosure will not receive a SPDS. Banks are exempt from having to provide the buyer a SPDS.
The SPDS will reveal material facts about the physical condition of the property known by the seller and lists repairs the seller is aware were made. The Seller Disclosure (SPDS) does not take the place of a buyer's inspection that is usually made after a contract is agreed upon. The purpose of the inspection is to find major - not cosmetic - defects in the home. It is highly advisable to hire a professional inspector to do this.
In the event a major defect is discovered and the buyer and the seller cannot agree upon a resolution of the problem, the buyer may elect to cancel the contract within the inspection period and have their earnest money refunded. Therefore, it is very important to have all inspections and tests completed and results known within the inspection period before the Inspection Objection Notice is submitted to the seller.
The seller is only required to make warranted repairs and those repairs requested in the purchase contract. Therefore, the buyer should request a copy of the SPDS before writing an offer! Non-warranted repairs requested by the Buyer after contract acceptance are negotiable - not guaranteed.
The Physical Property Inspection will focus upon, but is not limited to, the following four areas:
· Mechanical: Heating, air conditioning, appliances, exhaust fans, vents, evaporative cooler, ceiling fans, garage door and opener.
· Plumbing: Fixtures, lines, water heaters, sewer and septic, wells.
· Electrical: Capacity, wiring, code compliance, out of date systems.
· Structural: Doors, windows, roof, foundation, fireplace, chimney, drainage, ventilation.
· Optional: Pool and spa, sprinkler/drip system, exterior lighting, pest/termite Inspection, and environmental hazards such as: radon, lead, asbestos, mold and mildew. Environmental hazards are not part of and are beyond the scope of a physical home inspection. These would be additional tests that the buyer would have to order.
I recommend the buyer accompany the inspector during the home inspection to ask questions or be present at the end of the inspection to receive a verbal summary of the inspection. Ask questions, have the inspector show you problems he found and receive a full written report itemizing any areas of concern with photos. Not all problems are serious. But you will want to have them corrected soon after you take possession.
If significant repairs are needed, the buyer can request the seller make them in accordance with the provisions of the sales contract. But the seller is not obligated to make any repairs discovered after the offer was executed by all parties, unless the repairs were part of the purchase contract and the seller agreed to make them or the defects are warranted items as described in the Colorado purchase contract.
If the seller agrees to make some, declines to make any repairs or ignores the repair request, the buyer may cancel the contract within the allotted time and have his earnest money deposit returned.