When prospective buyers are ready to close on a home sale, they hire a home inspection service to ensure all elements of the home are in working condition and to record any areas that may need to be addressed before the sale is completed. Even then, buyers should seriously consider bringing back their Washington, D.C. home inspector for another walk-through closer to the date of sale.
A lot can change between an initial home inspection and the date a settlement agreement is signed. A weather event could have damaged a home's roof, mold testing could be necessary if water damage occurred or a disgruntled owner of a foreclosed property could have vandalized the property. Once a buyer signs a settlement agreement, the buyer has no recourse to hold the seller responsible for the cost of any repairs.
Experts suggest that homebuyers take several hours in the days leading up to the sale date to inspect the property again for themselves. During the process, the buyer should test outlets and appliances, and give the entire property a once-over just in case.
"You should allow at least 30 minutes or longer for a house walk-through," says Irene Gianos, a New Jersey real estate broker, told Indiana news source The Republic. "You need to go through the house with a fine-tooth comb and be as detailed as a home inspector."
In some instances, homebuyers even go as far as to hire a familiar home inspection company to look through the property again. Some companies will charge clients a percentage of whatever they charged for the initial inspection, so staying in touch with your home inspection professional may be wise. If a homebuyer is unwilling to pay that cost, the company may even be willing to advise them before the day of sale.