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According to one area broker/owner of a realty office, the chief confusion for consumers these days is that many believe an appraisal and a home inspection are the same thing. However, appraisals are used to determine the market value of the house you are going to buy which is the figure on which the mortgage lender bases its decision about the money it can safely lend you. When you obtain a home inspection you are evaluating your investment. Home inspectors, acting on behalf of who retained them, search for possible physical defects with the structure, roof, basement, mechanical equipment such as heating, air conditioning, electrical systems, sewage, plumbing, exterior drainage, and check for termite and other wood destroying insect infestation and/or damage.
The offer to purchase or the purchase and sale agreement controls the buyer's right to make these inspections, the time within which they must occur, when and how the findings must be exchanged, and the sellers obligations to correct discovered defects. The offer to purchase and the purchase and sale agreement typically allows buyers to terminate the agreement unless the seller makes the required repairs. It also usually permits sellers to cancel the contract if an inspection for infestation and/or damage by termites or other wooddestroying insects reveals a treatment or repair problem exceeding a certain amount of money (or the buyer can accept the property with a credit for the previously agreed amount).
Thus, not only are home inspections much different than the appraisal a mortgage company obtains, but they must be handled with particular care in light of the effect they may have on the anticipated sale of the property.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified real estate lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local real estate attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.