Why you should get an Inspection
Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should have a professional home inspection performed.
A home inspection will look at the systems that make up the building such as:
- Structural elements, foundation, framing etc
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Cosmetic condition, paint, siding etc
If you are buying a home, you need to know exactly what you are getting. A home inspection, performed by a professional home inspector, can reveal any hidden problems with the home so that they may be addressed BEFORE the deal is closed. The Virginia home purchase contract has an inspection contingency, and you need to indicate that you are exercising that contingency. Hire your own inspector and pay close attention to the inspection report. If you aren't comfortable with what he or she finds, you should kill the deal.
In a "seller's market" such as we have in Northern Virginia, you may have to waive the home inspection contingency to have a viable offer on a particular property. Understand, in that situation you are buying a house in essentially "as is" condition, with the following exceptions: appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical systems and equipment, and smoke and heat detectors (if required) must be in normal working order.
If you are selling a home, unless you intend to price it so that you need not accept the home inspection contingency, you may want to know about any potential hidden problems before your house goes on the market. Almost all contracts include the condition that the contract is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory inspection. And most buyer's are going to insist that the inspection be a professional home inspection, usually by an inspector they hire. If the buyer's inspector finds a problem, it can cause the buyer to get cold feet and the deal can often fall through. At best, surprise problems uncovered by the buyer's inspector will cause delays in closing, and usually you will have to pay for repairs at the last minute, or take a lower price on your home. Additionally, if the potential buyer officially discloses defects to you or your agent, and then decides to walk away from the purchase, you would be required to repair or disclose those defects to a subsequent purchaser.
In some cases it's better to pay for your own inspection before putting your home on the market to find out about any hidden problems and correct them in advance. We'll help you make that decision before putting your home on the market.