The Due Diligence period is your chance to research and inspect everything that is important to you about the home and area
Step 7: Due Diligence & Inspections
The Purchase Contract is typically contingent on the Buyer being satisfied after they have had a few days to look into everything about the property that is important to them. The amount of time the buyer gets to do their due diligence is dictated by the contract.
If a buyer finds an issue and wishes to cancel they may do so within this limited time period and have their earnest money returned to them.
Once the Buyer delivers a list of desired corrections to the Seller, the ball is in the Seller’s court. If the Seller agrees to the corrections the Buyer cannot back out of the contract and retain the earnest money. If the Seller does not agree to make the corrections, the Buyer has a second brief opportunity to cancel. It’s a complicated process with a bit more involved, but your Realtor is on your side and will walk you through.
Due Diligence is more than just getting home inspections done, although those need to be started asap!
You’ll want to look closely at every possible concern you may have about the property, community, and location. Plus get cost estimates to remediate and issues you might have so you know what you are getting into financially.
Refer to the Arizona Buyer’s Advisory for areas that could be a concern, such as:
Can you get lender required homeowners insurance?
Can you get flood and/or hazard/fire insurance if needed?
Is the area covered for emergency services? Who covers the area and, if not collected in your property taxes, what is the cost and how do you pay?
Is there a lease or shared item on the property? A shared water well, a leased solar system, salt water pool equipment, or water softener all need to be looked into carefully. How many users are on the well? Are lease terms transferable? Can you qualify for the payment?
Look at local crime reports
Research Zoning Know what your property, and the neighbors, can and cannot be used for. Are there easements or rules on the land that will prevent you from adding a desired guesthouse, second story, pool, etc? Could the empty lot next door or vacant building down the street become an apartment complex or an outdoor music venue?
Check with city or town halls for proposals to change the local zoning. You might be buying a golf course property only to find it will be changing to condos in the near future.
Determine if there are any encroachments on the land. Is the neighbors fence, garage or driveway on your property? If so this will have to be dealt with prior to closing.
Google the property address. Often you can find useful information this way, like did a felony or death occur in the home?
Research the HOA and/or other Associations with the property? Look at their financials, reserve account, upcoming assessments, pending litigation.
Talk to neighbors, HOA board members, and locals about the home and area.
If it is important to you, check it out!
Review these and other pertinent documents, ask questions for clarification:
- Seller’s Property Discloser Statement (SPDS)
- Seller’s Insurance Claims Report
- HOA Rules and Regs
- Title Report
- The Loan Estimate and Costs
- Insurance Policies, Premiums and Excluded Items
THE HOME INSPECTION
Do your home inspections and get quotes for needed repairs and desired updates or improvements.
A good inspection helps you know exactly what you are buying! Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate agent will always recommend you get a General Inspection and a Termite Inspection. We have a rolodex of quality inspectors, so give us a call if you want recommendations.
A typical home inspection will cover surface-level elements of the home such as basic structural components, outlets, heating and cooling system outputs, appliances, general plumbing, exterior grades, etc. The inspector cannot check aspects of the house that are not easily accessible or visible. Check the inspector's website or ask them for details.
Depending on the age of the home, the condition, your concerns, and/or recommendation of the general inspector, you may want to inspect the HVAC system, roof, structure, foundation, plumbing, pool, sewer drain, electrical, mold, asbestos, radon, pest problems, or other areas.
Give your inspector a copy of the SPDS and notify them of any concerns you have so they can pay special attention to those areas. Do plan to be at the house when the inspector wraps up so you can hear their findings. This is your chance to walk through your new home with an experts eye.
Get quotes for any major repairs or updates needed during this Inspection Period. We use these quotes to ask for repairs and also they give you an idea of costs you may incur soon if the Seller does not agree to repair items.
Buy, Cancel, Negotiate for Repairs?
Once we have a better picture of the home’s suitability and condition, you’ll use the information gathered to help you judge whether or not you wish to proceed with the purchase or cancel. If you wish to proceed with the purchase without corrections we'll let the Seller know and move forward with the deal.
If you wish to give the Seller the opportunity to make corrections, we’ll carefully craft and submit a list to the Seller to begin negotiations. Submitting your list ends your inspection period whether or not there is contracted time left to inspect.
Note that in Arizona homes are sold “As Is” so it is completely up to the Seller if they agree to make corrections or not. If the Seller chooses not to make repairs you have 5 days to decide to cancel the contract or continue with the purchase.
The General Home Inspection typically cost between $450 and $650, but can be more based on the size and location of the home. Costs of additional inspections vary as well.