Buyers should always have a home inspection before purchasing real estate. Costly necessary repairs, not visible to the eye at initial walk through, may be needed. A home inspector will point out these items and they can be negotiated for repair before settlement at the sellers' expense.
The buyer chooses the home inspector. An excellent resource for home inspector referrals is the buyer's realtor. A realtor works closely with home inspectors to resolve home inspection items and knows who to call. Generally speaking, a realtor should refer 3 home inspector companies to the buyer. From there, the buyer should carefully interview each company and hire the one that suits their needs. If the buyer does not feel comfortable with the referrals from their agent, they can go on the internet and do some research to find one that satisfies their criteria.
The buyers should be present at the home inspection. The home inspection is an excellent time to get to know the property and learn how the major applicances and HVAC systems work. ( The buyer will be expected to check on these systems at the final walk through before settlement.) The buyer should ask as many questions as possible during the home inspecgtion. The home inspector moves from room to room and outside to inside and the buyer should be at his/her side. Learn as much as you can at the home inspection. It is your time and your money and hopefully your future property!
Home Inspectors are hired to find items that need repair and safety-related concerns. Cosmetic items are not normally addressed by home inspectors.
Virginia is a "buyer beware" state. If a seller knows of a particular deficiency they should relay this information to the potential buyers. Otherwise, the burden is on the buyer to uncover deficiencies that affect the value of the property and/or enjoyment of the property.
The home inspector is not responsible for the condition of the home and is not a party to the contract of sale. They do not go behind walls or under flooring or move furniture. It is quite possible that a serious problem may not be detected provided the appropriate "red flags" are not raised during the home inspection.
All in all, the home inspection is a "must do" before buying real estate. Home Inspection techniques are constantly being upgraded with minimal issues popping up after settlement. This brings peace of mind to buyers and sellers.
Home Inspections, combined with home warranty programs, are a great way to reduce the occurance/impact of a post settlement issues.
If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today for expert advice. I will treat your transaction as if it were my own.