When shopping for real estate anywhere in the world, the first thing you should do once you've found a property you're interested in purchasing is to have it inspected by a professional, certified home inspector. After you've hired an inspector to thoroughly inspect the property you have interest in one day calling your home, you will get back a report from the inspection company detailing the condition of the home as they see it.
What exactly are you supposed to do with that home inspection report once it's in your hands? That's a good question and one that many inspectors have told us will make their best attempt at answering for you. The first thing you should do is read it over to see what the inspector has written and analyze their findings. If everything seems to be in good standing condition it will give you confidence with going through on your desire to purchase the home and knowing that you have a positive home inspection report will not make you second guess your attempts at purchasing the home in question.
What if the report comes back with some negative findings, even ones that are major and in urgent need of taking care of? The good thing is that if you got the home inspection report completed before making an offer you can walk away cleanly from the whole mess and play it off as if nothing ever happened, which it did. However, if the findings aren't of the major variety and can be worked around you can use that information to either ask the seller to lower the price of the home or ask them to pay for the repairs that the home needs. If a quote for water damage clean up equals thousands of dollars for example, why should the buyer have to pay it? That shouldn't!
It's not your home, which means it's not your responsibility to take care of it, and pay for the repairs, but if you want the home badly enough you're going to have to come to some sort of an agreement with the seller. Most homeowners are willing to compromise if a home inspection report comes back with any sort of findings and the buying and selling parties tend to reach a deal that will see both parties happy.
Use the knowledge you have gained about what you can do with home inspection reports if you ever find yourself in a situation like the ones we've mentioned above to get yourself the best deal possible or walk away from a potential disaster.