Is a Home Inspection Necessary?

Real estate transactions involve many details and moving parts, including house purchase agreements. Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll have to keep those details in mind, including the overall condition of the building. For this reason, a home inspection will typically be needed.

Given the fees and costs associated with the process, many people may wonder whether a home inspection is actually necessary. The short answer is that it is, but it can get a little more involved than that.

Strict Requirements

Technically speaking, a home inspection is not an absolute legal necessity for either buyers or sellers. That said, buyers benefit a great deal from having a property inspected, so a seller will usually need to allow an inspection (or pay for one themselves) in order to sell the property quickly.

In addition, if the purchase agreement includes requirements or contingencies involving a house inspection, then it should be considered necessary in that instance. Failure to conduct the inspection could mean the sale wouldn’t be completed. This ultimately depends upon the contract, but this type of contingency is included more often than not.

Benefits of Getting a Home Inspection

Legal requirements aside, it’s generally recommended that a home inspection be conducted regardless of what is stated in the contract. There are several reasons for this, such as:

  • Make sure the structure is safe by checking for potential hazards (mold, radon, structural damage, and so on).
  • Provide evidence of the home’s value including whatever issues may be on the property, which can be useful for both sellers and buyers in negotiating the price.
  • Make sure the building is up to code and that all present modifications are completely legal.
  • Provide a contingency by which buyers could back out of the purchase. A well-written contract can enable a buyer to back out if they feel they need to based on the inspection’s results.
  • Alert the seller to potential issues, thereby allowing them to make needed repairs in advance or else price accordingly, ultimately saving both time and money.
  • A pre-listing inspection can act as a selling point for homeowners looking to sell while also preventing a sale from falling through later on.

Sellers benefit from conducting their own home inspections before listing the house for sale, and buyers can benefit by making sure the home doesn’t have any glaring issues that would be problematic in the long run. Ultimately, both parties stand to benefit one way or another.

Home Inspections and Purchase Agreements

In terms of the actual transaction, home inspections can play a significant role. For instance, one type of contract commonly used in Illinois requires both the buyer and seller to agree on how to handle the results of the home inspection. If they don’t come to an agreement within a certain period of time, then the contract may be canceled by either party.

Drafting and interpreting purchase agreements can become complex, with home inspections being just one of many factors involved. For assistance throughout any real estate transaction, contact the attorneys at Hart David Carson LLP.

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