Buying a home is a significant investment and a major life decision. To ensure you are making an informed purchase, it’s essential to understand your home inspection rights. A thorough home inspection can reveal potential issues and help you decide about the property. This article will explore your right, as a homebuyer, to choose your inspector.
The Importance of a Home Inspection
A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of a property’s condition, typically conducted by a qualified home inspector. This process involves evaluating the home’s structural components, systems, and overall condition. It is an important step in the homebuying process as the inspection can uncover hidden problems that may not be apparent during a casual walkthrough.
Home Inspection Rights: Your Right to a Home Inspection
In most real estate transactions, homebuyers can request a home inspection before finalizing the purchase. This right is typically outlined in the purchase agreement or contract and is a clause that protects the buyer’s interests. As a homebuyer, be aware of and exercise this right to make an informed decision about the property. Remember, you can choose the home inspector to know you’re getting an independent, unbiased inspection.
Get a Copy of the MLS Before Signing the Purchase Contract
If the MLS has phrases like:
- the buyer can hire any home inspector except (fill in the blank)
- the seller reserves the right to approve the buyer’s home inspector
- “AS IS” the seller must approve the buyer’s home inspector
If the MLS has any of these phrases, you may want to find a different home. What is the seller hiding?
Phrases Like this During a Home Purchase Should Raise A Flag
- the seller wants to go with a different home inspector
- there is a conflict of interest with this home inspector; the purchaser must choose a different inspector
- the purchasers can not use this home inspector; they must choose someone else
If any of these statements are presented, demand them in writing and demand to know why. The home seller is impacting the buyer’s right to due diligence; they may be hiding something they know the inspector will find, and the home seller should not be dictating who the homebuyer uses to conduct their home inspection. When this happens, you have two choices: end the contract to purchase or push the point that it’s your choice, not the seller’s. Virginia is a Buyer-Beware state. Once the homebuyer closes on the sale, they have little to no recourse; basically, the homebuyer is on their own.
Your Right to Choose a Qualified Home Inspector
Once you’ve decided to proceed with the inspection, the next step is to choose a qualified, experienced home inspector. Look for licensed and certified professionals with thorough and unbiased reviews. Your real estate agent may provide recommendations, but do your research to ensure the inspector has your best interests in mind. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a real estate deal if they’re resistant to you hiring your own inspector.
The Inspection Process
During the inspection, the home inspector will assess various aspects of the property, including the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, etc. They will provide a detailed report outlining their findings, including issues or areas that require attention.
Your Home Inspection Rights: Negotiating Repairs or Adjusting the Purchase Price
Armed with the information from the inspection report, you have the right to negotiate with the seller regarding necessary repairs or adjustments to the purchase price. Depending on the severity of the issues discovered, you might request the seller address certain concerns before the sale is finalized. Alternatively, you could negotiate a reduction in the purchase price to account for the cost of necessary repairs.
Understanding Your Options
If the inspection reveals significant issues that make you uncomfortable with the purchase, you can walk away from the deal. In some cases, you may also have the option to back out of the contract without penalty if conditions outlined in the agreement are not met.
Your home inspection rights as a homebuyer are an important aspect of the real estate transaction. By hiring a home inspector, you can learn about issues, negotiate repairs or adjustments, and make an informed decision about the property. A home inspection is an investment in your peace of mind and a step toward ensuring your new home is a sound and secure investment.