Do you have questions about home inspections and appraisals? Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed inspector within the time frame stated in the contract. Some buyers will have  different inspectors inspect the property. The reason they do this is to get professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in specific areas like roofing, hvac etc.  If the contract is contingent on financing, then the financial insitution or bank will have the property appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value. The bank does this to protect their investment.

A buyer of a commercial property may also have a complete environmental audit performed or soil test, if required by the lending institution.

The Closing Agent

Either a title company or a Real Estate/Closing attorney will be your closing agent. Their job is to simply make sure the title is clear and prepare the legal documents needed for closing and to transfer payment to you. I recommend a few different law firms locally. After researching the recorded history of your property, they will certify that your title is free and clear of encumbrances. Examples include mortgages, leases, or restrictions and liens.


A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For example, a buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector.

Before completing his or her purchase of your property the buyer and their agent will perform several tasks.

  • Obtaining financing and insurance.
  • Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents.
  • Inspecting the property. The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist, mold, lead based paint, HVAC, etc.

Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:

1. Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the closing; or
2. The buyer, after reviewing the property and the documents, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).

If you are selling your house in Richmond, Virginia you should know that buyers do have the option to waive appraisals or inspections or both, which is a huge advantage for sellers.

How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded, while acting in your best interests?  This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction.

Loan Approval and Appraisal

We suggest that you accept buyers who have at least one of the following:

1. Pre-approval letter from a bank or financial institution
2. Approval letter which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter.

Expect an appraiser assigned by the bank to appraise your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate. Remember the bank does this to protect their investment.

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