The importance of home inspection and walk-through

The home inspection and final walk-through are two essential aspects of home buying which benefit consumers in several ways.

“A lot of the decision to buy the house is emotional,” home inspector Bob Hintze said. “People buying the house are really excited about it. They don’t tend to look at the details, or they don’t tend to look at how things work.”

One of the most important aspects of home buying is getting your new home inspected. A home inspector will look at the structure of the home, including the roof, the heating and cooling system, as well as plumbing and electrical systems, to determine if the home needs repairs or if there are any health or safety concerns.

Being present for the inspection is important, because it helps new homeowners better understand what they’re purchasing. Once the home inspection is complete – you’re still not done. Your next step before closing is a final walk–through with your real estate agent.

“A final walk–through of the house you are buying might seem really simple but a lot of times it’s overlooked, and it’s important because you can then double check and make sure anything you ask for in your contract has been completed,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “Also, you can find out if there was any damage to the house when the previous owner moved out. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s really simple, but it can save you some headaches.”

Walk–throughs involve going room by room with your real estate agent making sure agreed upon repairs have been made and that the home’s condition hasn’t changed since your last visit. If you discover any issues, now is the time to talk to your real estate agent about your options.

“Certainly if a defect is so great that the buyer does not want to purchase the home, there are rights,” real estate agent Kristie Smith said. “In most states, there is a sales disclosure process that the seller must commit to having the home in the same or better condition as when everyone signed that disclosure in the first place. That’s usually signed at the time of contract.”

The walk–through is often scheduled on the day before or the same day as the closing. Depending on the size of the home, the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.