Some experienced investors buy foreclosure properties cheaply without even having seen the property. However, most buyers shouldn’t buy a property unless they have had it thoroughly inspected by qualified professionals. Inspections are a necessary part of the homebuying and selling process.

Sellers should be leery of buyers who offer to purchase without an inspection contingency. A well-inspected property protects both the buyers and sellers from after-closing claims that can be time consuming and expensive to resolve.

Many sellers have presale inspections done — usually structural pest ("termite") and home inspections — before they put their homes on the market. A question is when to have the inspections done: a reasonable time before the house goes on the market or after repairs that sellers know about are remedied?

Often sellers opt to have inspections done just before marketing so that there are fewer defects for inspectors to find. This can be problematic if there isn’t enough time to make the repairs you’d like to have done before the listing goes on the market. In this case, the list price might need to be lowered to account for the defects.

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