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What is the role of a home inspection during the real estate closing?

What is the role of a home inspection during the real estate closing?

A Home Inspection is an inspection of a home that occurs after a real estate purchase agreement has been signed.  The purpose of the home inspection is to identify any major problems or safety concerns involving the new home to be purchased.  The home inspection is part of the due diligence phase of the real estate transaction.  Generally, a home inspection will cost from $300 to $600 depending on the home inspector and location of the property.

The most common type of home inspections is the radon inspection, wood-destroying insect infection, a well and septic test.  Furthermore, a home inspection may identify issues of mold and a mold test may be necessary.  If mold is found, typically a mold remediation will occur to resolve the issues of mold at the property location.

Failing to obtain a home inspection is a major mistake by purchasers.  The purpose of the home inspection is to identify major issues and safety concerns such as missing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors.  The home inspector prepares a summary report along with pictures identifying the level of concern.  As a house closing attorney, the home inspection summary must give specific examples of whether the items should be repaired, is a safety hazard, and or recommend that a specific professional be sought to address the specific concerns highlighted by the home inspection report.

Under the Multi-State Real Estate Contract, the home inspection period must occur within five business days after acceptance of the contract.  Often, the home inspection period must be continued, and the buyer’s attorney should email a letter to the seller’s attorney asking for an extension of the home inspection period.  Timely addressing deadlines is an important objective of the buyer’s attorney.  Generally, the sellers and buyers come to terms during the home inspection period unless there are significant repairs such as a damaged roof. 

The Seller and the Buyer have the opportunity to cancel the real estate purchase agreement during the home inspection period if the parties cannot come to terms.  Meeting the appropriate deadlines are critical though to properly cancelling the real estate transaction due a lack of agreement related to the home inspection.

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