We recommend that househunters choose an attorney and an inspector (and a back-up for each) early in the house hunting process. That way, when you find a house and start making offer, you are not scrambling to interview attorneys and inspectors during a busy week.
You need to know what they are going to be doing, so you can ask them.
- Check your condo docs to make sure there is nothing that will make the place a problem for you or for your lender.
- Review the Purchase and Sales Agreement to make sure that your ownership rights will be correct, that there are few ways to renege for the seller before closing and as many ways as possible to renege for you before closing. (Generally, both parties have very few ways to break the contract.)
- Close the transaction, if your lender will allow. (This can save you a little money.) If you want to do that, check with your lender if you preferred attorney is on their approved attorney list.
- Inspect the property.
- Test for certain things. This varies. Some are licensed to inspect for wood-boring insects, most do radon testing.
- Some have specialties in allergy prevention, or have experience as builders, or are also licensed as engineers. Do you have certain things you are concerned about?
Once you confirm that your attorney and inspector will provide the services you want, evaluate them on your comfort level with them.
Was it easy to get information about their services?
Were they available the way you like it — by email, phone?
Was the communication style the way you want it — clear, factual, personal, reassuring?
Then consider price.