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Should buyers attend their home inspection?

Too many homebuyers miss a great opportunity by not being present at their home inspection.
By Barry Stone Modified: March 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm •  Published: March 9, 2013
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DEAR BARRY: Our home inspection is scheduled. This is the first time we've bought a home, and we're not sure what to do and what not to do. Our agent says it's not important for us to attend the inspection, that we should just wait for the report. But we're uncomfortable with that advice. There are so many things we want to ask the inspector. What do you recommend?

Annamarie

DEAR ANNAMARIE: Your agent is not giving you good advice. The importance of attending your home inspection cannot be emphasized too strongly.

Too many homebuyers miss a great opportunity by not being present at their home inspection. Sometimes this is unavoidable, due to geographical distance. But whenever possible, buyers are strongly urged to participate in the inspection process. Being on site during the inspection, viewing specific conditions in person, consulting with the inspector, asking questions, and obtaining advice greatly magnify the benefits to you, the buyer.

A home inspection is a fact-finding mission in which the inspector is your hired advocate. You and the inspector should jointly engage in the discovery process. Both of you are there for the same reason — to learn as much as possible about the condition of the property.

Prior to the inspection, most buyers make a purchase offer based upon a 15-minute walk-through or run-through. At that point, they know very little about a very expensive commodity. The home inspection provides buyers their only opportunity to slowly and methodically view and consider the object of their investment. During the inspection, they have hours to voice questions and concerns as they evaluate their prospective purchase. Buyers have even been known to discover defects the inspector might otherwise have missed.

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