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Homebuyers here in Tennessee and elsewhere want to know that they are buying a safe and structurally sound home free from significant problems. The way they obtain this information is through a home inspection. Below is just some of what this crucial report provides.

During this non-invasive inspection, the home inspector will visually examine the home for issues ranging from minor to major. He or she examines the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical and all areas of the home including the roof, basement, crawl space, garage, doors, walls and more. A comprehensive report is then generated — usually within a couple of days after completion of the assessment.

If any issues with the home are found, the inspector will indicate what they are, the problem and recommendations. Problems such as water damage, issues with the foundation, electrical problems, damage to the roof and plumbing issues can all signal the need for major repairs that could prove costly. After reviewing the report, the buyer will need to make some decisions, especially when the issues are not minor.

This is when a home inspection contingency comes into play. The buyer and seller can discuss what happens next. In some cases, the seller will be responsible for making repairs that are subject to another inspection. In other cases, the seller will agree to lower the price of the home to compensate for the repair work, which will then be the responsibility of the buyer. Depending on the circumstances, the buyer may have the option of walking away from the sale and receiving a refund of his or her earnest money.