As a home buyer, your goal is to find the best ideal home that suits your needs and style. You’ll be looking at numerous properties and you will ultimately find yourself making an offer on a house that you really want. It fits your budget and checks all of the most important boxes on your wish list.
Your real estate agent will help you prepare an attractive purchase offer. What is deemed most attractive will depend largely on current real estate market conditions, as well as seller preferences. Not all home sellers may be looking for the same things. Some may be focused solely on the offer price. Others will be looking at other details. Your buyer’s agent should consult with the seller’s agent to determine offer priorities.
It’s no secret that we’ve been in a seller’s market for the past couple years. Inventory is low, mortgage rates are low, home prices are rising and buyer demand is high. This has forced many home buyers to be more aggressive when making purchase offers. They understand there is a lot of competition from other buyers and the best properties will likely get multiple offers. Buyers have to find ways to stand out.
One of the biggest controversies in this seller’s market has been home buyers waiving home inspections as part of their offers. We think this is a very bad idea in most cases. It’s a desperate move that can backfire horribly if significant problems are discovered with the house after you’ve already moved in and completed the real estate transaction.
Here are 6 reasons why you should be very cautious about skipping a home inspection:
1. Avoid a Huge Mistake
Home inspections can often reveal what we call “deal-breakers.” These are issues that could be big enough to end the transaction altogether. Cracks in the foundation, water damage and other problems may be very costly for you to repair. A home inspection can help you avoid making the biggest mistake of your life. As a buyer, having a home inspection clause in the contract allows you to pull out if something really bad is found. Or, it gives you the power to renegotiate with the seller for a better deal.
2. Knowing What You Are Getting Into
In most cases, a home inspection won’t uncover any major “deal-breakers.” However, minor stuff will almost always be found. As a home buyer, this knowledge is very useful. It may not hinder the transaction at all, but it will let you know anything that is wrong and what work you may need to do after you move it. It allows you to budget for upgrades and repairs, as well as prioritize any work you want to do.
3. Getting Home Insurance
Some homeowners’ insurance companies will not even offer insurance on a home if there hasn’t been a home inspection. They may require their own inspection after you’ve already purchased the property. If problems are found, you may have trouble getting the house insured or your premiums may go through the roof.
4. Revealing any Unapproved Additions
A finished basement or a nice add-on may be a feature that led you to buy the house. However, you may have no idea if those rooms are up to code. A home inspection can reveal any potentially unapproved additions or renovations that have been made. This can help you avoid a bad situation or gain renegotiating power with the seller. Unapproved additions will cause nightmares when it comes to home insurance and property taxes.
5. Safety for Your Family
When you are moving into your new home—your “dream” home—you want to have peace of mind that it is a safe place for you and your family to live. Home inspections may uncover any structural problems, mold, lead, asbestos or other safety concerns that you should know about before it’s too late.
6. Negotiating Power
We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it’s important to highlight. Home buyers have the opportunity to back out or request renegotiations up until a certain point in the process. Home inspections give you more negotiating power if significant issues are found during the inspection. You’ll know exactly what’s wrong. If it’s bad enough, you can try to get out of the deal. Or, you can work with the seller to find an agreeable solution. They may reduce the selling price, make the repairs themselves or offer credits to cover certain repair expenses.
It doesn’t matter how badly you want a property. It is a mistake to waive any home inspections without considerable conversations with your agent and others who can identify the potential risks to you. They are done to protect you as a home buyer and give you more peace of mind when purchasing a property. If a seller requests you skip the home inspection, it’s safe to assume something fishy is happening. If your real estate agent suggests it, then you should be skeptical. Make sure they provide a very good explanation as to why. There are some rare situations where it may be okay. In general, though, forgoing a home inspection is a terrible idea.
If you are planning to buy a home and want quality, honest advice throughout the process, contact The Cyr Team. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you!