Should I ask for a home inspection before I buy?
When buying a home, leave yourself the option to get a second opinion. Consider putting a contingency clause in your offer that allows you to get a home inspection and cancel the sale if the results of the inspection are unsatisfactory. If there are serious problems, a home inspection can prevent some serious hassles.
- Who pays for the inspection?
The buyer usually pays for the inspection, which can cost several hundred dollars. The seller generally wants the inspection completed within a short time period, say five or ten days. For this reason, when you start shopping for a home, also look around for a good home inspector. Ask your agent for several names.
- Who should attend the inspection?
You. You'll learn a lot about the place that could soon be your home. If it's practical, your real estate agent and the seller should also accompany the inspector. Wear old clothes and comfortable shoes, as a complete inspection goes from attic to basement. The inspector should check for structural defects, plumbing and wiring problems, dampness in the basement, leaks from the roof, termites, lead paint, dry rot, energy efficiency and compliance with local building codes. Any visible and accessible problems should be noted immediately and then included in the report.
- What happens if the inspection uncovers problems?
If you put an inspection clause in the contract, you may back out of deal if serious defects are found. What happens more frequently is the buyer will negotiate with the seller to have the problem repaired or the sales price adjusted.
Click on "Ask Your Own Questions" for answers to other questions you might have about contract negotiation.