Did you know? The process of buying a home varies around the country. Most go through a real estate company to locate their home, while some others buy directly from the homeowners. Whether you use a realtor to locate your home or not, homebuyers generally will engage an attorney. Based on this process, you’ll soon see at what stage you’ll need to hire a home inspector, and what a thorough home inspection entails.

  1. Homebuyers present Sellers with an offer in writing. It is accepted or rejected, and if rejected, this may be tempered with a counter offer, lower than the asking price, but higher than the offer. Eventually, buyers and sellers usually come to terms and the offer is accepted.

  2. A Contract of Sale is prepared by the Seller’s Attorney and received by the Purchasers’ Attorney for review. (Yes, the Homebuyer has become the Purchaser, as stated in the Contract, a legal document.)

  3. Assuming their attorney has no issue with the contract, it is now time for the Purchasers to hire a Licensed Home Inspector to visit the property. It is critical not to sign and return the contract until the Home Inspector has presented his or her report. If their inspection uncovers an issue with either the home’s foundation, roof, or plumbing, heating, and /or electrical systems, then the lawyers for both sides of the agreement must determine the best course of action. Depending on the issue and its severity, this generally means that the Seller pays to have any necessary repairs made or the Seller credits the Purchaser at closing for the estimated repair cost(s).

  4. Based on the Home Inspector’s findings, Purchasers also have the option to renegotiate the price of the home, or to have any earnest money that may have been exchanged returned, and then walk away without further obligation.

As you can see, the best safeguard Homebuyers have is a professional Home Inspector. Learn when to move forward with a Contract, and when to ‘move on.’