To Do or Not Do a Home Inspection
What is a Home Inspection?
Once your offer gets accepted on a home, the next step is completing a home inspection. You’ll hire a licensed home inspector to do a thorough walk-through of your home. General home inspections typically take a few hours and can cost between $400 – $600. The goal of a home inspection is to determine if there are any deal-breaking issues within the home before you purchase it!
During the inspection, they’ll look at all the major systems, potential health hazards, structural issues & any other areas of concern. Then, the inspector will create a report detailing their findings so you can make requests for repairs from the sellers. So the question is, to do or not do a home inspection?
Pros of a Home Inspection
The idea behind a home inspection is to give you a chance to negotiate repairs or credits for current issues in the home. It’s a great way to cut down their out-of-pocket costs in repairing your new home. Many times sellers are willing to negotiate in order to get their home sold.
The best reason that I can give you to do a home inspection is for your financial protection. Once you forego your home inspection window, you may lose the chance to get some or all of your deposits back if you decide to back out. What’s more is that buying a home without doing a home inspection means that you may run into unknown problems down the road. These can end up costing you thousands of dollars, even in new construction. A home inspection will give you the “heads up” on issues that you may or may not want to deal with!
Most importantly, you want to make sure that there are no health hazards such as asbestos, mold, mildew or wood-destroying pest activity. All of these issues can cause devastating effects if not handled quickly. Having the knowledge of the presence of these can make or break a home purchase.
Knowledge is power. Knowing the current issues of a home that you’re buying allows you to decide whether or not it’s worth it for you. The inspection period is built into every purchase and sales contract for this reason. It gives you a chance to understand the risks you’re assuming and the ability to walk away if necessary.
Reasons Buyers Forego Home Inspections
The main reason that buyers forego home inspections is for their offer to look more attractive to the seller. They want to give up their right to a home inspection to show the seller that they are willing to take their house with all its issues; known or unknown.
The issue with using this tactic is that a lot of times it becomes a last-ditch effort to win an offer. Typically, the buyers are not prepared to waive inspections, but they feel it’s necessary to win. While it may seem like a good idea in the moment, any knowledgable Realtor will talk you out of it due to the risks.
Another reason could be if a buyer is really tight on budget, a home inspection could break their budget. This is why chatting with a Realtor off the bat to determine these costs & how they fit into the budget is important. But honestly, a couple hundred dollars upfront is pennies compared to thousands of dollars in repair costs later.
Buyers will also forego a home inspection when purchasing new construction. It may seem like a waste of money, but here’s why it’s not. Sometimes new construction can be rushed in order to follow the contracted timeline for completion. Some of the work may be subcontracted out, but not always to the most highly-skilled laborers.
While the city has their own inspection process, they’re looking at the basic structure & mechanicals, not always the details. You want to make sure that the construction was done correctly, so issues don’t arise later after the builder’s warranty expires.
There are several reasons that buyers may choose to forego a home inspection. However, it leaves you unprotected from issues down the road that may end up costing you!
Inspection vs. No Inspection
To do or not to do a home inspection, that is the question. In crazy seller’s markets, though, the absence of inspections may make an offer more appealing to sellers. Inspections also cost something up front so if a buyer is tight on budget, it can seem like an easy way to save.
However, doing an inspection only protects you, as the buyer. It gives you the knowledge base to understand what the problems are, and if you want to take them on financially. It gives you the chance to ask the sellers for repair requests or credits, so all the work & money doesn’t fall on you. A home inspection will also give you the peace of mind in knowing that your home was checked for health hazards prior to moving in.
So while it may be enticing to remove that inspections contingency from your offer, know that any issues will fall on your shoulders, literally, and potentially, figuratively.
If you feel that you can’t win an offer, talk to you Realtor about other ways to strengthen your offer! There are plenty of ways to win an offer without sacrificing your due diligence!
The market can be a rocky road, but having a Realtor looking out for your best interests & educating you on their insights will almost guarantee you winning offer when its meant to be!