The Importance of a Home Inspection
As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Don’t take anything for granted, not even what you see or what the seller or listing agent tells you. A professional home inspection is something you MUST do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition. You can make this a contingency of your contract and negotiate repairs. Please keep in mind that most sellers do not know everything about their property at a given time and they may often be surprised about inspection report items that need repair.
Beforehand, make sure the report will be done by a professional organization, such as a local trade organization or a national trade organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection). Not only should you never skip an inspection, but also you should be present with the inspector during the inspection. This gives you a chance to ask questions about the property and get answers that are not biased. In addition, the oral comments are typically more revealing and detailed than what you will find on the written report. Once the inspection is complete, review the inspection report carefully. Also know that later in the week after the inspection report, you can call the inspector to ask additional questions.
Include an inspection contingency as part of your offer. It must be written in as a contingency. With most contracts, you may ask the seller to make repairs, accept a repair credit off the asking price or you still have the option to terminate the contract of purchase. Most real estate contracts automatically provide an inspection contingency.
Virginia is a "buyer beware" Commonwealth. Do your homework and enjoy a successful purchase process!