I often get the question from buyers, “Do I need to get an inspection?” My answer is almost always “yes”! Inspection are relatively cheap running $0.10 to $0.15 per square foot. Although these inspections are limited in scope (check your inspection contract for details) and aren’t guaranteed to find everything, they can identify major defects in a property that might not have been apparent when you initially viewed the property. In many cases these are minor items like cracking tiles, drippy faucets or bad weather stripping. In other cases, these inspections can reveal major faults such as aluminum wiring, polybutylene piping or failures in the heating system. These later items can cost thousands or even tens of thousands to repair and can turn a dream home into a nightmare. While the seller typically is not obligated to fix these items, a well written contract will give the buyer the option to demand repairs, receive compensation—i.e. a lower selling price or cancel the deal and receive a full refund of his deposit. Spend the $500 and protect yourself.
If you are a seller, you may also want to consider getting a home inspection done before you list your home. By identifying and correcting potential defects you can enhance the attractiveness of your home and avoid awkward “renogotiations” when problems are found by the buyers’ inspector.