Most purchase contracts include the buyer’s contingency period for inspections and investigations, typically 1-2 weeks. You’ll want to hire a certified inspector right away, who will spend hours looking for issues with the condition of the property – what’s not working, potentially dangerous, or not to code. Inspections are an important investment for the buyer, and produce a detailed written report with photos and explanations.
Depending on what’s in the report and the purchase contract negotiations, that usually starts a ‘request for repairs” negotiation with the seller. All properties are sold “as is and and disclosed” but sellers often agree to fix hidden problems (or provide a credit to buyer in lieu of repairs).
In addition to inspecting the condition of the property, the buyer should also investigate the title report to look for issues such as easements that others may have across the property. And if the home is part of an HOA, it’s important to assess its financial reserves, rules, pending lawsuits, and board minutes – all of which the seller is supposed to provide within the first week of escrow.