One of the terms of the contract
that we negotiate for is a "due diligence period" usually between
7-10 days. This is the time starting from the binding
agreement date that you have to do all of your inspections and
possibly negotiate with seller some concessions if you find things
that are of concern that you didn't know about when making the
offer. Or if after inspections you might decide to terminate
the contract and get you earnest money back.
This is the time to really look
into everything that could be a factor in whether or not you really
want to buy the home.
Don't take anything for granted.
Trust but verify what's on the
Seller's Property Disclosure.
After being part of 100's of
sales, I have seen first hand many issues that can come up.
I've outlined most of the items
that you need to check out during your due diligence period. I
want you to be prepared.
Every home is a bag of problems.
There isn't a perfect home out there. What you want to do is
to know what problems you are buying so you can decide if you are
willing to deal with them at the price that you negotiated.
In Georgia, anyone can say
they are a home inspector. Make sure they are
certified, they take digital pictures and have email reports. I
and try to get
Jim Duggan. An inspection
will take about 3 hours.
Try to attend the inspection
if possible. It's like getting an orientation on your
future home. Also, you can ask questions about issues that
come up. Many times the way the reports are written, many
small, inexpensive issues might sound like they are major
problems and cause unnecessary concerns.
Get a Georgia
Wood Infestation Report Done
This is a termite report that
also checks for other pests such as powder post beetles.
The cost is about $60.
Some companies might do them for free hoping that they can get
the yearly monitoring business.
You can also have them
inspect for wildlife intrusion. Are there rats in the
The regular home
inspector will flush toilets and let a bathtub full of
water down the drain but they aren't going to scope the
Roots in the sewer
pipes take some time to create a backup. The
previous owner might have cleaned the pipes before
listing the home.
video sewer pipe inspection can not only see roots
in the pipes but can see cracks in the pipes where
roots can enter. Cracks can also lead to sink
Separate HVAC Inspection Really
The regular home inspector
will verify that the HVAC works and is cooling or heating but
they won't be able to tell you more important details.
An HVAC technician can check
the levels of refrigerant. They also have special
detectors to check for small leaks at the coils.
They can also check the
furnace heat exchanger for cracks. Many times sellers will do
band-aid fixes before listing so everything works then but then
breaks down a few months after the sale and then it's your
Use a Swimming Pool Contractor to
Even though the regular
inspectors charge extra to inspect pools, I have found that they
just aren't good enough, kind of like the HVAC inspection
I recommend getting a pool
maintenance guy to check out the pool. They know what to
look for and usually can tell you not only the current issues
but what will be needed in the future.
If there are obvious
additions and renovations that have been made, It's good to know
if the necessary permits were obtained so you know that things
were done to code.
Synthetic Stucco. This isn't
automatically a problem but you need an entirely separate stucco
inspection to find out if there are issues with the stucco.
Be prepared to spend an additional $500 for this kind of
Wood fiber siding made by
companies such as Louisiana Pacific.
Get a Survey
Find out where the boundaries
Do your fences encroach on
Are there any easements for
power lines, pipelines or drainage pipes?
Are there any stream buffers
that would hinder what you might want to do?
If you are worried about
mold, get a separate mold test by a dedicated mold testing
Weather conditions can affect
results so timing might be difficult
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the
due diligence period? Like most things in the contract,
it's negotiable. But most sellers aren't going to want to
extend it past 14 days. 10 days is usually a happy
When does the due
diligence period start? The due diligence period start on
the binding agreement date. This is the date when both
parties sign off on all the terms. A day is considered to
run until midnight. Only full days are counted. So if the
contract is all signed off on at 3pm on Monday and it has a 2
day due diligence period, you would have until midnight on
What if we find
issues that we want the seller to take care of? We submit to the seller an
"Amendment to Address Concerns" and start negotiations on the
items. We have until the end of the Due Diligence Period to come
to an agreement.
What if we can't
come to an agreement? You can do nothing which means you
accept the property as-is and you continue on to the closing.
Or you can terminate the contract and get your earnest money
back. To do this we need to send the seller a
"Notification Terminate and Release Earnest Money"before the end of the due
What if I need
more time to get a second opinion or estimates? We can see if we can get the
seller to agree to extend the due diligence period. Many
times the seller will want to get his own estimates too.
What if I want to
get the repairs done myself after closing but I want the seller
to pay for them? That's usually the best way to
deal with things. First we come to an agreement on what is
a fair concession and then we do an amendment to either reduce
the price or for the seller to pay that amount in buyer's
Can't I just get
the seller to give me a check at closing for the costs to repair
the items? Most lenders won't allow any money
to be paid from seller to buyer. There aren't things like
"carpet allowances" anymore. Sometimes money can be held
in escrow for repairs to be made within 30 days of closing but
it all depends on the lender. Most lenders require all
repairs by seller to be done before closing.
What reasons can
I use in order to be able to terminate? You don't need to explain your
reason. You can just change your mind. But since
inspections can add up to a lot of money, you really don't want
to go through the process unless you are really certain that you
really like the home.
Our market area is in the
north metro Atlanta area.
We service Cobb County,
north Fulton County, Dekalb
County, Forsyth County and
Gwinnett County. We
are very familiar with Sandy
Springs, Dunwoody, Marietta,
Buckhead, and Midtown.
We have sold homes inside
the perimeter and outside
the perimeter. We
can't know everything so for
clients who want to look for
property in Peachtree City,
Newnan, Stone Mountain,
Douglasville, Macon and
areas further out we will
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We can represent you in the
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also help you purchase HUD
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Some terms that we might be
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