1. Read the disclosure package promptly and thoroughly.
Read carefully all disclosures and reports included in the disclosure package, keeping the terms of your contract in mind. Do not skip boiler plate disclosures because these may contain some truly important information about the duties, rights and responsibilities of different parties involved in the transaction as well as local and regional disclosures that will guide you through the process of buying the house.
2. Sellers disclose only what they know.
It is absolutely possible that a home will have some issues that are not yet symptomatic or that the sellers are otherwise not aware of.
3. Pay special attention to various inspections provided by professionals.
Make a list of all necessary repairs. Pay special attention to the termite report and the condition of the main components of the house including the foundation, roof and fireplaces. Find out the age of all systems (heating, electrical, plumbing etc.) and if they are functioning properly. Look for red flags that may necessitate further inspections. Highlight any questions that you want to pursue further.
4. Conduct your own visual inspections.
Visit the home on multiple occasions, at various times of day and different days of the week.
5. Conduct your own investigations.
Visit City Hall and investigate past building permits and future plans or contemplated additions to the house.
6. Meet with your agent and discuss the findings in detail.
Go over your questions and create a plan for obtaining any additional information you need from the sellers, inspectors or even your own investigations.