So, you've got an offer accepted on a home that you love. All that's left to do is close the deal, right? Not so fast. If you're taking out any kind of loan to pay for your new single-family home, you'll probably be required to have an inspection done. This will give you (and your lending bank) a better idea as to the home's overall condition and will alert you to any major issues that may need to be addressed or repaired before closing. Even if you're paying for your home with cash, an inspection can give you some extra negotiating power and peace of mind.

Choosing an Inspector

It will be up to you to find and hire a home inspector. If you're not sure where to begin, consider asking your real estate agent for a recommendation. Most agents have a list of preferred professionals that they work with regularly. When hiring an inspector, you'll also want to consider some common add-ons, such as termite inspections and radon testing, which can give you additional information about the home.

On the Day of the Inspection

Buyers are generally welcome to attend home inspections for themselves, but you're under no obligation to do so. When possible, however, attending the inspection can give you an opportunity to ask the inspector some questions and learn a bit more about the house along the way. Just be sure to keep your distance and allow the professional to do his or her job.

Receiving the Inspection Report

Within a few days of the inspection being completed, you'll receive a detailed report from your inspector. The exact format of this report can vary a bit from one inspector to the next. However, many will highlight key concerns about the home on a cover page and/or in bold text throughout the report. This will help to call your attention to any major issues that may have been discovered. If you weren't present for the inspection itself, there's a good chance your inspector will give you a call to discuss these issues with you as well.

Requesting Repairs From Sellers

Once you have the inspection report, be sure to forward it to your real estate agent. You and your agent can then discuss a strategy for requesting repairs or credits from the sellers, especially for major items that should not be your obligation or responsibility to repair yourself. From there, you can move onto closing with more confidence and peace of mind.

For more information on getting an inspection for a single-family home, reach out to a local real estate agent.