Buying a home may be the biggest investment you make in your lifetime. It is the buyer’s responsibility to do their due diligence and learn as much as possible about the property. Hire a qualified and professional home inspector to assess your new house. Read on to learn more about how to protect yourself as a homebuyer.
Protect Yourself as a Homebuyer with a Contingency in Your Sales Contract
Once you make an offer on a home, ask your real estate agent to include an inspection contingency in the sales contract. This clause will give you time to order a home inspection by a professional of your choosing.
The information in the report gives you the knowledge you’ll need to make a decision on the property. By including a contingency clause, the findings of the home inspection allow you to negotiate the terms of the home purchase. As the buyer, you have the right to request repairs or even renegotiate the price of the property.
Ask Questions About the Home
In Virginia, sellers are not required to reveal defects in the home. However, they are also not allowed to deliberately mislead a potential buyer about the condition of the property.
When viewing a home, ask questions, especially if you notice things that concern you. Make notes of your concerns. If you notice a crack in the basement wall or a dark stain on the kitchen ceiling, ask your home inspector to further investigate the issue.
Order an Inspection to Protect Yourself as a Homebuyer
It is unlikely that you’ll notice every defect and problem with a home during your tour of the property. As a buyer, protect your investment by ordering a home inspection. The inspector is a well-trained professional who works for you, so choose an inspector you trust.
He or she will examine the visible and accessible systems and components of the property. Your inspector will check the foundation and roofing and will test smaller components like appliances and power outlets. The report provided by your inspector will detail all problems, defects, and safety concerns in the home.
The price of a home inspection is minimal compared to your investment when buying a home. It is important to select a qualified, experienced inspector. Attend the inspection, if you’re able. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and make sure you understand the condition of the home.
Finding a Home Inspector
Choose a professional 3rd-party inspector to examine the property. Your real estate agent may make recommendations, but ultimately, you should choose an inspector you trust.
Ask friends and family members for recommendations and do research online to learn about inspectors in your area. Because a home purchase is a big investment, make sure your inspector is experienced and thorough.
When talking with inspectors ask what services they offer. You may find professionals who can also perform radon testing and/or mold evaluations so you will have a more complete picture of the home you’d like to purchase.