A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process.
Should you have a home inspection?
The short answer is, yes!
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that home sellers should consider having a home inspection before putting their home on the market for sale. The article suggested that the more the buyer knows about the condition of the property, the more it may help with the sale.
While this information is helpful for the home buyer, assuming the inspection was done by a licensed home inspector, it should not replace the buyers inspection of the property.
It is in a home buyers best interest to have the home they are purchasing inspected by a licensed home inspector.
Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase you will make in a lifetime. No matter what your financial status, it makes sense to want to save money however cutting out the home inspection should rarely be an option.
- The sellers home inspector may have missed something during the inspection or something may have changed since the inspection was completed.
- The seller may have ordered an abbreviated home inspection and important details like the electrical wiring and plumbing may not have been included.
- Is there a pool on the property or is the home served by well & septic? These items are not always included in a home inspection. In fact, different companies inspect pools and well & septic systems.
- A home buyer wants to choose the home inspector. Make sure your home inspector is licensed. You may also want to include additional inspections for termite, mold or any other issue that could be important to you and your family.
The first and most preferable option being a standard home inspection with right to negotiate or cancel. This type of inspection gives homebuyers the ability to request that sellers make repairs or provide credits for material defects discovered during the home inspection. If sellers and homebuyers cannot come to an agreement on the details of the repair negotiations, the contract can be terminated.
The second option a homebuyer has is what’s called an “as is” home inspection. This allows buyers the right to terminate the contract based on the results of the home inspection. However, homebuyers do not typically have the right to request credits or repairs for any material defects found during the inspection. This type of home inspection is typically performed when there are multiple competing offers and buyers want their offer to look more appealing. Alternatively, sellers may prefer this if they are not in a position to provide credits or make any repairs.
The final type of home inspection done is the most disadvantageous to a home buyer. This is called a pre-contract home inspection. This method of inspection is done before a buyers offer has been accepted by a seller. In this instance, a home buyer will submit an offer with no home inspection contingency attached. Because there is no home inspection contingency written into the contract, there is no room for negotiation with sellers when using a pre contract inspection. This home inspection is paid for before the contract is accepted and done with the understanding that the seller may not choose your offer.
A few key notes;
Hire a licensed home inspector. Many buyers will ask if a contractor friend can do the home inspection and the answer is always no. A knowledgeable friend or family member can always tag along during the home inspection but the inspection itself needs to be performed by a licensed home inspection professional.
Investor sometimes waive an inspection contingency. An experienced investor who may also be a contractor may opt to offer a lower than list price for a property. This is not the average home buyer experience but one worth mentioning as seasoned investors may have extensive experience evaluating the condition of a property.
Every property is unique, and some homes may require multiple inspections by a variety of inspectors depending on their expertise.
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