With home inventory low and prices high, it’s obviously a seller’s market. Unfortunately, the market conditions force many buyers to pay over the asking price and consider skipping inspections and appraisals in order to get their offer accepted.
While it’s true that skipping inspections may help your offer appear more attractive to the seller, it can be a risky decision. Areas that you can’t easily see, like attics, foundations, roofs, and crawl spaces, unfortunately usually hold the most surprises. Consequently making what may be the biggest purchase of your life without all the information often backfires.
The practice of skipping inspections became prevalent over the last few months. Unfortunately, we’re already hearing of people who purchased homes without inspections only to be plagued with major problems later. Unexpected expenses to address mold, roofing, structural, and even safety issues can easily run into the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, buyers have enough cash on hand to deal with the surprise costs. In others, they’ve run their cash reserves too low to come up with larger down payments and simply can’t afford the repairs.
As we always say, knowledge is power. So we encourage you to spend a few minutes and do your research. You can simply type “risk of skipping home inspection” into your internet browser or if you prefer give the articles below a quick read.
Bottom line: While we understand that skipping inspections seems like an “easy” way to help your offer stand out, it’s important to realize that it comes with a cost. Potentially a very expensive one that you may (or may not) be able to afford. Consequently, until the real estate market settles down, your better option is to require “information only” inspections in your offer. That means that the inspection is for your use only and the seller isn’t obligated to fix anything.
Granted, you’ll spend the inspection fee (approx $400) and won’t recoup the cost. But on the plus side, you’ll know exactly what you’re purchasing. If the inspection turns up major issues, you still have the option of walking away and forfeiting your deposit. Admittedly not a fun option but most buyers agree that it’s better than being stuck with a nightmare. In return, you’ll be able to go into the purchase with your eyes wide open and the confidence that your new home will be filled with good memories instead of unexpected expenses and frustration.