Buying a house can be a tough, complicated time for some. There are a lot of steps along the way - not to mention the major financial commitment.

However, this process can be made much easier with the help of a home inspection professional. These experts can clarify any concerns potential buyers may have regarding the safety and security of a house, from the roof down to the foundation.

Homebuyers should also be cautious before closing on a property. There are plenty of little details worth paying attention to, starting at the open house. A keen eye can save a person from ending up with a house full of repair bills.

Take a look around during an open house

Open houses can be extremely valuable to potential buyers, even if some people think that they are a waste of time. Instead of writing off this event, anyone interested in real estate should swing by and look around. 

It all starts with the questions, according to MSN Real Estate. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more than just the layout, such as how many offers are on the property already. The answer to this question can determine a new bid, or inspire someone to walk away before even taking a look around.

In addition, potential buyers should ask if the house has been in escrow, the news source noted. This answer can shed light on many problems. For instance, the home inspection may have found something seriously wrong, or the appraisal didn't go as planned. If it is related to the inspection, it may be worth asking for any detailed reports to get a better understanding of the issues.

It is also worth asking why the current owners are selling, MSN Real Estate recommended. This may not get a true answer, but it is worth the shot. However, it could also provide leverage to the buyer, perhaps showcasing a desperate seller. Or, it could bring to light some problems that may not be worth the trouble. 

During an open house, home shoppers should also learn about any related costs of ownership. These could include homeowners association fees, taxes or other expenses. Understanding these before buying can help a person budget for all other bills, like renovations and moving costs. 

New homes can have problems too

Many potential buyers think that only older homes have issues, and therefore those are the ones that require a property inspection. However, this isn't the case. New construction can be just as problematic, and they also need attention and due diligence before moving forward. 

Dan Vandervort wrote in an article for that new homes that haven't been tested can prove challenging. Without years of wear and tear, owners won't know everything that could go wrong. That is why a home inspection is a must for any type of real estate.

In order to tell if a new home is in good shape, buyers should look at a few key areas. For starters, the structure as a whole, according to Vandervort. At a distance, does the entire house look flat and even? Inside, all the walls need to be square, and bowing is a very bad sign. The floors also have to feel solid while walking on them. 

In addition, the little details matter, Vandervort explained. A quality builder will make sure everything looks great, so it can be a telltale sign of problems if these elements are out of place. All the toilets, sinks and faucets need to work properly, and the water pressure should be adequate. The electrical system also has to be able to handle the requirements of the house and its residents. 

A home inspection professional can figure all of this out, for both new and existing homes. All buyers should take the time to have this step completed, just to be safe.