One of the most important steps when buying or renting a house or an apartment is the inspection process. This is the stage that gives you an idea of the true condition of the property and helps you towards making your final decision.

It is also the process you have to be most weary of. You may get caught up in the moment and end up making hasty decisions you might regret in the future; no one wants to regret buying their dream home or renting a property only to find out the house is far from what you were made to think of. Once you sign the contract with the agent, getting your cash back may be difficult if not impossible.

So, take your time and do your due diligence properly. The following are some of the things you should look out for before you make the final decision to buy or rent that home or apartment.

Renovation needs

It is always paramount to check if your potential new home will require renovation or not. Most real estate agents and homeowners will fail to tell you what would need repairing in the house, so it is up to you to check for yourself and list out parts of the house that might need repair or total renovation before you acquire or rent the property.

It is also advisable you do an estimate of what it will cost to renovate the property before you sign the agreement or make a deposit. If your agent or landlord promise to perform the renovation after you’ve paid or moved in, have that and the expected day of renovation as part of the agreement.

Nothing is off limits

Some agents may give you an excuse for not inspecting certain rooms or give you the story that they do not have the keys to those rooms. Under this pretense, they may require you to continue the inspection without seeing those off-limit sections of the property. Do not give in to these excuse. Tell the agent you need to check every room, cupboard and wardrobe before you can make your decision; don’t be hurried nor give in to what may be a whim to lure you into a regrettable situation. You should check if the hinges on the door are sturdy enough or if the toilets flush well amongst other things.

Check for odd smells and out of place paintings

You may go for inspection and notice something smells weird or unpleasant and you dismiss it. Take heed! Remember that your other senses compensate for what your eyes cannot see so you need to trust them. Find out where that smell is coming from and see if it is something you can rectify or if the landlord or seller can rectify it before you commit. You don’t want to have friends come over and they wouldn’t be able to stay because of bad smells in your house.

Area or neighborhood check

Most of us do not conduct recon on our potential neighborhood before buying or renting a home and we end up getting stuck in that area even after things get very uncomfortable. Look up the area on Hutbay Local Area Reviews to read what others are saying about the locality. You need to know the kind of area to which you will be moving, check the security level, the availability of power/electricity, the noise level and sometimes, especially for renters, the kind of co-tenants you will have.

Verification of documents

This usually comes towards the end of the transaction or during the decision stage. For buyers, you need to calm down and do a thorough and proper verification of the documents to ensure that you don’t end up being scammed. Have your own lawyer verify all documents, whether it is the governor’s consent, certificate of occupancy, you must take your time to verify all the documents your seller will hand over to you.

For renters, you may not have or need any document to verify. However,  you need to be sure you also don’t end up being scammed. Rental scams abound and we have so many stories of folks who pay their rent to the wrong guy. Be sure the person you are dealing with is the right guy. Be sure the apartment is truly vacant. Be sure neighbors in the building knows and approve of the person you are dealing with.

And if you eventually make up your mind to pay for the house, do not pay cash. Rather, pay into the company account of the real estate agent or into the account of the Landlord or Landladies.