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Hire a professional inspector to survey all parts of the house, including the structure, roof, exterior, the major systems (electrical, heating, cooling, and ventilation), and appliances that will stay. The inspector may spot existing as well as potential problems, and will suggest remedies.

You can build an inspection contingency into the Purchase Agreement. Ideally this should be a blanket clause that requires the seller to make legitimate repairs, or if the seller is unwilling to do this, would allow you to cancel the contract.

If the inspection does turn up some flaws, a seller often is willing to make necessary repairs or adjust the price. Or he or she may refuse. It all depends upon how much effort, or cash, both parties are willing to spend.

On the other hand, some sellers may institute their own inspections, which can be an incentive to a buyer. After all, it saves you time and money, and says something about the assurances the seller is willing to make. Even so, there are advantages to conducting your own inspection. You'll have the opportunity to tour the house with the inspector who can point out possible trouble or tell you how to avoid it. And though the seller's inspection may certify the house trouble-free with only minor flaws, those flaws may be important to you.

Finally, make sure that a comprehensive inspection report is in writing. Although you wisely will take lots of notes while you tour the house with the inspector, the official report will serve as the contingent document in any deviation from your contract. If there are major problems, use the report as an aid that will allow the seller to remedy the situation, or void the contract.


Fran 507-951-3746     Rachael 507-951-0600     Eric 507-259-8438

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