What is the most important thing to ask for when buying a home? Is it a loan? The interest rate? The terms of the loan? What school's will your kids attend? Well I guess it's really a matter of opinion, but here's my opinion and the why. I actually have 2 things.
First, get the sellers disclosure. This nice little piece of paper is a legally binding document from the seller, not their agent, given to you. This tells you everything about the history of the home and the best part is if the seller lies on it you can sue him or her. Everyone seems to love suing anybody for anything these days. Here's your chance. This tells you things like; did the home flood; are you in a flood zone; ever had termites; etc. A very valuable piece of paper. And remember, no Realtor is allowed to touch, as far as filling it out goes, this which means you get it straight from the sellers own written hand. If you're buying make sure you ask for it. And for Pete's sake, if you're selling make sure you fill one out. It's the law.
Second, Get a home inspection done by a professional. Just so we understand each other, I'll say it one more time and speak slower, louder, and more clearly ( I do tend to mumble at times), because it's very important. GET...A...HOME...INSPECTION...DONE...BY...A... PROFESSIONAL. This can save you thousands of dollars in later repairs, purchase price, closing costs, etc, etc, etc. GET ONE!! Basically a home inspection verifies everything the seller told you on his "sellers disclosure" form. Usually around 10-15 days before closing a home inspection should be performed. But no more than 30 days.
Well there's a little more real estate knowledge for you. Hope it helps you out. If you got questions, feel free to contact me.