Is a Home Inspection Required to Buy a Home?

In Virginia there are a number of different contingencies that protect you within the contract. One of those contingencies that protect you as a buyer is the Home Inspection Contingency. 

Home inspections are done by licensed home inspectors to check the overall condition of the property. It’s meant to give the buyers a general description of the condition of the structure, foundation, electrical, plumbing, etc. and is generally completed once the buyer is under contract or ratified. Home inspections are an important step in the home buying process because it gives the buyer an idea of the condition of the property/investment that they’re buying and what repairs to expect in the coming years. 

In Virginia, the Home Inspection Contingency gives buyers two options when submitting their offer to the seller. 

Option 1: Home Inspection With Option To Negotiate Repairs Or Void

With this option buyers have the ability to negotiate with sellers to provide a credit or make repairs on items in the house that they find during home inspection that are in disrepair. If both parties can’t come to terms during these negotiations the buyer has the ability to void the contract. 

Option 2: Home Inspetion With Option To Void Only

With this option buyers are not able to negotiate for repairs or credits. They have to accept the property in the condition that they found during the home inspection or void the contract. With a veteran realtor who knows the contract and is skilled in negotiations, there are some caveats to this. The good news is, within this contingency the buyer would generally receive their Earnest Money Deposit after voiding the contract. 

In regards to the contract and or financing, you do not need to do a home inspection. However, it is highly advised that you do complete an inspection of some sort before being fully committed to the property contractually. 

Pro Tip: Pre-Offer Home Inspection: In a hot market, a lot of buyers will complete pre-offer home inspections prior to submitting an offer. In this case, the buyers will hire the home inspector to do an inspection on the property prior to submitting an offer. This way they can submit an offer that is non-contingent on home inspection. Doing so makes their offer stronger in the eyes of the seller because the buyers no longer have that contingency as a “way out of the contract”. 

Pro Tip 2: Always do a level 2 chimney inspection if there is a wood burning fire place. 


Stay tuned for Coming Soon articles that may answer some questions that this post may have sparked: 

  • Best time to Buy
  • How long does it take to close on a home?
  • Relationship between home price and days on market
  • Does a higher down payment help with negotiations?
  • What are Closing Costs and who pays them?

If you have specific questions or would like to set up an in-person meeting to discuss your scenario, please call or email me directly at 703-915-2244 / [email protected]. If you enjoyed this post and would like access to more of my articles/videos, visit the video/blog section of my website at:

Jason Curry

Licensed Realtor: VA & DC

J Curry Group at KW Metro Center

2101 Wilson Blvd #100

Arlington, VA 22201


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About the Author

Jason Curry, founding owner of the J Curry Group, based in Arlington, VA, has a long record of successfully guiding his clients through the home buying and selling process. He epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work, and creative service in every detail of your residential real estate transaction and he has represented sellers, buyers, and investors. Jason is annually a top producer in the area and is respected among clients and colleagues. Jason specializes in applying his expertise and market knowledge to residential properties that consistently exceed the personal and investment goals of his clients. He recognizes the importance of customer service in the real estate industry, and has developed systems and processes to ensure pleased and profitable clients. Grateful for an amazing group of neighborhood friends and contacts, Jason makes sure that new residents are welcomed in a way that has become customary in the Northern Virginia area. Jason is a lifelong resident of the DMV and is a proud alum of George Mason University where he earned his Bachelors degree.