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How should I get a home inspection?

Purchasing a home should start an exciting new chapter in your life. Unfortunately, if your new residence has major defects you did not know about, your homeownership dream could become a nightmare. Before you close out your purchase, you should have a good idea of the condition of the home through an inspection.

Inspections are an important part of buying real estate. Homelight explains how to go about having an inspection done while protecting your rights and keeping from having to pay for costly home repairs.

Include an inspection contingency

When you negotiate a purchase agreement, be aware of the contingencies in the document. These provisions allow you to exit the agreement without buying the home if certain conditions occur. An inspection contingency permits you to negotiate with the seller to repair the home if you find defects. You may walk away from the deal if you cannot come to an agreement over who should pay for the repairs.

Determine purpose of inspection

If you ask the seller for an inspection, be sure that you establish what the inspection is for. An inspection only intended to provide information about the state of the home might not obligate the seller to do anything about any defects. You may have to work out whether the seller will pay for repairs before you proceed with an inspection.

Conduct a follow-up inspection

Some home inspectors do not have the expertise to check for every type of home defect. It is possible your inspector may discover problems with the home but is not certain what is causing the trouble. In this case, you might seek out a specialist to conduct a follow-up inspection to determine the issue with the home. For instance, if the inspector finds evidence of insect damage, you might need a termite inspector to look at the problem.

The terms of a purchase agreement are critical to protecting your rights in a real estate purchase, including your right to know about defects before purchasing a home. Be sure that the agreement works to your benefit and not to your detriment.