Buying a home is the single most expensive purchase most of us will ever make. For a few hundred dollars you can use the services of a home inspector to get a much better idea of the homes physical condition than you would otherwise have known. Most states require that the purchase and sales agreement have a clause allowing you the right to have the home inspected to your satisfaction or get a full refund of your deposit. Exercising this right is definitely in your best interest. Large and costly problems may be brought to your attention before you buy the home, leaving you in a position to renegotiate the terms of the sale or just walk away from the deal. You may prefer to have the seller make repairs, or you may negotiate a price cut. The choice is yours. You will be in a far more difficult position if problems are discovered after the deal is closed. Just remember: Buyer beware. If the time allowed for the home inspection is unrealistic then insist on having it extended -- three weeks should be enough. Allow time for possible lab results.
Before you put your house on the market, you may want to seriously consider the benefits of having it inspected. Without a doubt, this is the best time for a home inspection for all involved. All too often, a home inspection is performed as a final contingency of a sale with little time to absorb its impact. Any reported deficiencies at this time of high emotional stress can easily be blown out of proportion causing an over reaction and possibly the death of the deal. People are far more receptive to such deficiencies when they are disclosed to them up front, perhaps while they are viewing the home for the first time. The additional benefits to a seller are fewer renegotiations, less surprises, a better selling price, less likely litigation for improper disclosure and an increased chance that a deal will close. Having a pre-sale inspection given to a buyer does not remove the buyer's responsibility to perform their own due diligence and have their own inspection of the property.