Buyers: Request a home audit before purchasing a home

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Consumers have a lot of leeway during the home buying process. When they discover potential problems with a property, they may request that sellers reduce the price or fix the problem before the transaction is complete. However, some buyers do not take advantage of all the opportunities they have to fully explore the homes they may buy. While most buyers hire a home inspector to assess a property and work closely with their real estate agents to get a full picture of the home, there is one task many buyers forget to complete: a home energy audit.

 
Professional audits can help buyers save money
 
Energy costs can be expensive for new homeowners, and plugging leaks and resolving other issues that may diminish energy efficiency can help owners save money. While most new owners conduct an energy audit after they move into a new home, conducting an audit before the sale is complete gives buyers the chance to back out of the sale if they find problems, ask sellers to reduce the price or fix the issues, according to the Washington Post. This can be particularly helpful for first-time buyers who are trying to adhere to a strict budget and save money on all aspects of their home purchase.
 
Find a good auditor
 
Buyers who request an energy assessment should seek out a reputable company to conduct the audit. Similar to searching for a good real estate agent, buyers can begin with referrals from friends and family. After individuals have narrowed down a list of reputable auditors, it's also important to read reviews of services and examine their standing on the Better Business Bureau website. Lastly, ask about which services they provide and compare pricing.
 
After consumers have chosen an auditor, it's also important to make sure they are using the proper tools to effectively conduct the assessment. For example, legitimate auditors will come equipped with a calibrated blower door, which is an instrument that measures how air tight a home may be. The tool can ensure the home's air quality is not contaminated by indoor pollution and pinpoint areas that are vulnerable to air leakage. Most auditors also use thermographic inspections, which can help them determine if insulation is needed in certain areas of the home.