Step 9: Home inspection and appraisal

Before you finalize the sale of a home, you should hire a third party to do an inspection of the property. Inspections are meant to uncover any problems with the home that could affect its livability, safety or value. It’s usually a good idea to make your offer to purchase contingent on the home passing inspection, so you aren’t left with thousands of dollars in repair and maintenance work before moving in. And depending on the type of financing you choose for buying the home, it may have to undergo several inspections. Your real estate agent can recommend a reliable and affordable home inspector to conduct a whole-house inspection.

Inspections don’t cover cosmetic problems and, so you should take care of that in your own basic inspection. During this time, you should be sure that the sellers have left what they have agreed to in the contract and have moved everything else from the house. Also be sure there isn’t any damage to the home from their move. You may also choose to bring along a copy of your offer to be sure that all of the contingency items you requested have been completed.

You will likely have to have an appraisal to secure a mortgage. An appraisal is a written estimate of a property’s market value, and most lenders require this, to ensure that the home isn’t worth less than the loan amount. Should this be the case, your lender will likely reduce your loan amount, meaning that you will need a larger down payment, or you will need to negotiate a lower price with the seller.

Next, the final step: Closing on your new home.

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