Often when I sell a New Home... when the buyers and I get around to doing their "pre-closing walk-thru" with the Builder, my buyers sometimes ask me whether or not they should first get their home inspected by a Professional Home Inspector.
Of course, that should always be the buyer's choice to make. And I would always encourage buyers to do what they felt they needed to do to insure in their mind that they were getting a quality-built home.
Sometimes, though, the buyers are extremely tight on cash. The $350 or so that the typical home inspector may charge can be a real hardship on them. So, what should they do ?
Well, as usual, the answer is "it depends." Sometimes the buyers DO get the home inspected by an outside inspector before they do their "walk thru" with the builder. I have found that their choice sometimes depends on how things have gone with that particular builder along the way during the overall construction of the home from start to finish... and the impression the buyers have gotten when they periodically walked thru the home on their own as the home is being constructed.
If the individual builder actually "building" the home has kept in contact with the buyers, and has shown both a willingness to communicate, and a track record of actually responding to their concerns, the buyers may be less inclined to have the home inspected prior to their builder walk-thru.
Sometimes, especially when cash is an issue, and the home looks "tight," the buyers delay a professional inspection until perhaps the tenth month of ownership... so their home gets a thorough, point-by-point inspection sufficiently in advance of the expiration of the typical builder's one-year "blanket" warranty.
What the buyers choose to do may also depend on what the home looks like when they meet with the builder for their "walk-thru." If there are still tradespeople working in the home during the walk-thru, if the appliances are still being installed, if the home looks messy because the cleaning crew didn't show up, the buyers can quickly lose confidence... and their suspicions build.
I know of one new home "production builder" who adamantly insists that their salespeople do NOT use the words "buyer walk-thru" but "buyer presentation" for the before-closing meeting of the buyers with their builder. The reason for that is that this particular builder will not... absolutely not have the builder invite the buyer to the home until every last item on the builder's "punch list" has been taken care of. This particular home builder is fervently religious about this. With that in mind, what the buyer has always thought was called a "walk-thru" actually IS a "buyer presentation" with this builder. The home is finished, it is "tight," and that breeds confidence.
Usually when that is the case, the buyers often elect to save their Professional Inspection Dollars to be spent sixty days before the expiration of the builder's standard one-year warranty.