The Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract, developed and approved by the Arizona Association of Realtors for use by Realtors (AAR) throughout the State of Arizona, gives the Buyer a 10 day, or other negotiated period of time, to conduct all due diligence related to the purchase of the property. Beyond a General Home Inspection, the “Buyer Check List” Cover Page to the Contract suggests that the Buyer Review the above referenced Inspection Paragraph (6a) and “If important to you, hire a qualified: Mold Inspector, Roof Inspector, Pest Inspector, Pool Inspector, Heating and Cooling Inspector and to Verify square footage and whether the property is on sewer or septic”. The “Buyer Check List” does not actually suggest a general home inspection, but that is usually what most buyers do to investigate the condition of the property during their due diligence period.
If you are buying a resale home, it is critical that you understand that the home is not new and that a Home Inspection is a general overview of the home’s condition. It is a good start, but you should be sure to review this “Buyer Check List” and read thoroughly the Paragraph 6a that discusses various things that you may want to investigate. Read and understand the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement and the AAR Buyer Advisory, preferably the electronic version with live links to additional sources of information, to identify anything that you may want to investigate further before you commit to the purchase. Your agent is not a home inspector and they are not liable for the condition of the property, but they can and will help you find additional inspectors and point you to resources to help you investigate matters that are material to you. I always say that buying a house is not like buying shoes. You need to take your time to thoroughly inspect and investigate anything that is important to you. Once you close, barring any non-disclosed item that the seller would be liable for, you are taking the home in AS IS condition.
You will probably obtain Title Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance and maybe even a Home Warranty, all of which kick in after closing, but insurance has limitations (that you should also familiarize yourself with) and may not cover something that you could have discovered during due diligence. In short, there is generally no substitute for a thorough investigation of material matters that would give you an opportunity to cancel or negotiate warranted or non-warranted repairs, credits or other solutions with a seller.