Homebuyers in the Tri-State area may be even more dependent upon a home inspection in 2012, as new rules regarding real estate sales took effect at the start of this year. Buyers will no longer be legally protected if they discover problems with the home after a sale has been completed.
Homebuyers in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and some counties in Northern Virginia should make themselves familiar with new real estate sale contract forms produced by the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR). Some real estate estate professionals think that new procedures could leave buyers exposed to problems in their new homes if they do not hire a professional Washington, D.C. home inspector to survey the property before the ink is dry on a purchase agreement.
Sellers will no longer be held viable for undiscovered structural damage to the property, and their only obligation is to clear the property of any obvious debris that was not present when the house was sold or when it was last formally inspected.
Under the terms of the new contract, both parties in a sale can agree upon one of two different options that involve a home inspection service investigating the property before sale.
The first option – the Home Inspection Contingency – allows buyers to mandate that sellers fix any problems a home inspection service turns up before the sale date. Or, if the seller is not willing to conduct such repairs, that individual could instead provide the buyer with a credit to fix the problem.
Alternatively, buyers and sellers can agree to the General Inspection Contingency, which allows for a home inspection to take place strictly for informational purposes, but it does not allow the buyer to force the seller to make repairs.
If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington, D.C., you may consider contacting a local home inspection service to survey your investment.