Today we’re answering a question that we get on occasion from Queens home buyers and sellers, especially when this is their first time buying or selling a property in NY. The question we’re talking about is, “When does the home inspection happen here in Queens?”.
So when does the inspection happen here in Queens? First off, it’s important to understand that in other parts of the country, home inspections happen at different times. For example, right across the bridge in New Jersey, you go into contract first and then you conduct your home inspection. However, here in Queens, and NY in general, you can expect for the home inspection to take place after you have an accepted offer. So, as soon as a seller accepts a buyer’s offer to purchase, that is typically when the home inspection would be scheduled.
As a home buyer, you want to move quickly to get your home inspection done because this is a crucial window of time in the process. The reason why is because here in NY, no offer is considered fully accepted until contracts are signed. So, ideally you would want to have your inspection scheduled and conducted within a day or two of having your offer accepted. Once the inspection is done, it usually takes a day or two for the buyer to receive the report. Once the buyer receives their report, they will review it in detail and then either give the green light to proceed, or they will bring up issues that can lead to renegotiation, credits, or deal cancellation.
What you want to keep in mind as a home buyer is that most homes in Queens will have a lot of normal wear and tear. Remember that most homes in Queens were built in the early – mid 1900’s so almost any house you consider buying will have wear and tear. If you do bring up any issues after inspection, make sure it is for reasonable/big ticket items.
If anything major comes up in the report, then buyer and seller should reasonably expect for a renegotiation to occur. In our experience, as long as buyer and seller are both reasonable, then a new win win agreement should be attainable. On the other hand, if either party is unreasonable with their demands, then that will most likely lead to a cancellation in the deal. Some examples of major items that come up during inspections are: Roof issues, Boiler issues, Plumbing issues, Heating Issues, Electrical issues, Safety or Hazardous Issues, etc. The main purpose of an inspection is to assess the major components of a property so keep that in mind when you hire an inspector, or when you are selling.
If you are a home buyer and the inspector brings up major issues with any of the major components in the home, then you may have a chance to renegotiate in lieu of those items. And if you are a home seller, keep in mind that there are certain things that buyers will not know about until they have an inspector go through the home. So if any issues come up with one of the major components of the home, be reasonable, be understanding, and remember that those issues will likely come up with future buyers’ inspections. We never negotiate for normal wear and tear, but if something major comes up which noone knew about, then it makes sense to come to a new agreement that makes sense for all parties.
Now, once the inspection is done and everyone is in agreement to move forward, that is when the attorneys would get involved. After inspection is done and green light is given from the buyer side, that is when both buyer and seller attorneys are contacted and the contract is sent out. This process from accepted offer to contract going out can take about a week or two depending on how long it takes for the buyer to schedule their inspection and receive their report. So for example, if a buyer has their offer accepted on Monday, you would generally want the inspection to be conducted on Tuesday or Wednesday so that the buyers can receive their report on Wednesday or Thursday, and then ideally the contract would be able to go out by Friday or Monday morning. Keep that in mind so that you know what to expect. Once the contract goes out, it can take another week or two before the contract is finalized and signed by both buyer and seller. So total timeline from accepted offer to contract signing can be about 2-3 weeks.
Something important to note is that during that window of time, a seller can legally continue to show the property and field new offers. So, just because you have an accepted offer, does not mean that your offer is legally binding. Even if you schedule an pay for an inspection, it is still not legally binding. And even if a contract is drawn up and signed by the buyer, it is still not legally binding. The only time an accepted offer becomes legally binding is when the buyer and seller sign, also known as a fully executed contract of sale. If you’re a home buyer, the quicker you move the better the chances of you keeping the house and not losing it to another buyer. If you are a seller, it is also in your best interest to move quickly towards a contract because your buyer can also back out at any point before contract execution.
So to answer the question, when is the inspection done here in Queens? The answer is after accepted offer and before contract is sent out. Hope that answers the question and gives you more insight into the home inspection and accepted offer process. If you have any questions about home inspections, or if you need any real estate help, feel free to Contact Us 🙂