When buying a home, or any kind of real estate, buyers should ensure they have all the information they need about the property to ensure they know what they're buying. Of course, the buyers will receive property "disclosures" from the seller (and maybe other sources), but that doesn't relieve the buyer of the responsibility to learn even more about the property. There are usually "issues" about the property the seller isn't even aware of... issues that may only be identified through various types of inspections.
Buyers usually ask "What inspections should I do when buying a home?"
Although optional, it is recommended that buyers have the property inspected by the "appropriate professionals". Typically, the seller pays for a pest inspection which looks for wood decay, water/moisture damage, and various types of infestations. As with most anything in real estate, who pays for the pest inspection is negotiable, but it's "normal and customary" for the seller to have this done, at the seller's expense, before or during a purchase transaction.
Once the purchase offer has been agreed to by both buyer and seller, and the escrow has begun, the buyer has the right to have other inspections performed, typically at the buyer's expense (unless it has been agreed to in the contract that the seller will pay for additional inspections - although this is not common). The inspection reports (the findings of these inspections) - any and all inspections - must be provided to the seller (in addition to the buyer, of course).
What kind of inspections are recommended that the buyer have performed? At minimum, most commonly, a whole house inspection... normally referred to as the "home inspection."
Depending on the property features and condition of various systems, other inspections that can be considered include (in no particular order):
- roof inspection
- pool inspection
- HVAC inspection
- chimney inspection
- septic inspection
- well inspection
- sewer line inspection
- structural inspection
- misc others (although these listed are the most common)
The inspections in blue are the more common ones done in addition to a home inspection.
It seems like a lot of inspections but, keep in mind, inspections other than the home inspection are typically only performed if there are specific concerns by the buyer that can possibly be identified with a certain inspection.
Buyers should consult with their Realtor to identify any other inspections that might be appropriate for the particular property. Of course, while a Realtor can provide guidance and advice, it's ultimately the buyer's choice if additional inspections are done.
If you have questions, please call me at 916-241-8000 or 530-677-1332.