As part of the standard Louisiana real estate purchase agreement, buyers have the right to perform any and all non-invasive home inspections that they want during their inspection period – at their own expense. The actual length of the inspection period is negotiated in the contract, but typically it’s between 10-15 days from acceptance of an offer.
What kind of inspections are normal?
A full inspection will take 2-3 hours to complete, depending on the size of the house. The inspector will check everything from the electrical system, heating and air systems, roof, attic construction, and slab level to the little things like doors and windows opening and closing properly. The job of the inspection is to let the buyer know everything about the house that they can discover. Some of their findings may be in your property disclosure and some of them may be things you didn’t even know were an issue.
Termite inspections are usually required by mortgage companies prior to approving a loan on the property. Some companies will do a termite inspection at the same time as the home inspection, while some buyers prefer a dedicated termite inspector. If active termites are found, be prepared to have the property treated and put under contract (if you don’t already have one). There’s not a lender out there willing to take a termite-infested house as collateral for a mortgage.
Video inspections of plumbing have become almost mandatory for houses on slabs. Our shifting soils and invasive oak tree roots can wreak havoc on underground plumbing. It’s much better to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a plumbing inspection than to find out you have broken pipes after you move in.
What kind of extra inspections might be done?
If the home inspector suspects a problem with a particular area of your home, they might recommend a licensed professional do a roof inspection, sewer inspection to see if sewer cleaning is needed, or check the heating/air system, electrical system, or even recommend a structural engineer if they think there is a foundation problem. These additional inspections may be at the buyer’s expense, or they may re-open negotiations and ask for you to have them done yourself.
Inspections are the most common reason we see sales fall apart, so don’t consider your house “sold” until you’ve passed this important hurdle.
Need more information about selling your New Orleans home? Call us at (504) 327-5303 for advice and answers to your questions.