Obtain a vendor’s declaration prior to signing an offer to purchase. Remember that it is the vendor’s legal responsibility to disclose knowledge to you (and to the inspector) of all known defects or deficiencies in the home. It is not the inspector’s responsibility to extract the information after the fact. Also remember that the vendor’s declaration should not always be taken at face value. Many homeowners do not necessarily recognize the implications of various phenomena in the home which could be indicative of underlying problems, and some homeowners may not accurately or truthfully report what they are aware of. Conversely, some inspectors will not question the accuracy of the vendor’s declaration, and will blindly or knowingly walk by obvious problems simply because the vendor is now liable for them.