It is undoubtedly a tough market full of eager buyers who will do almost anything to get their dream home. According to the National Association of Realtors, the US supply of houses on any given day was 1.04 million units, the lowest number since they began collecting this data in 1984.
Many buyers go well over the asking price, tripling their down payment, and even waiving the home inspection. Redfin, an online real estate aggregator, reported that more than 30% of home buyers waived all inspections in 2020. But, there are costly risks in doing so.
Skip the Home Inspection Risks
Home inspectors thoroughly examine your house from top to bottom. They test and inspect things you cannot see, like electrical issues, radon or carbon monoxide, and items you may not see, such as mold. Mold mitigation alone could cost you between $500-30,000.
- Pest Problems.
A Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) inspection can identify severe damage behind or between the walls. Orkin states that termites damage over 600,000 homes annually.
- You will have no clue regarding structural issues.
- No information about the condition of essential items.
In the inspection report, you will learn about the condition of the roof, HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, and some of your appliances. While these items may not require initial replacement, you will have an idea when action will be required.
- You’ve eliminated your backout plan.
If you buy a home “as is,” you don’t have the opportunity to renegotiate the price or cancel the sale altogether.
- Your homeowner’s insurance policy may be affected.
Your insurance may not cover issues as they arise since due diligence was waived.
What You Can Do
While we do not recommend waiving an inspection, here are a few creative ideas that may work for you in favor of a “lite” inspection (option 1) or a full-out inspection (2 & 3).
- Insist on a “walk-through” inspection.
This is when you and the home inspector visually inspect every section of the interior and exterior of the home. An inspector may visually identify signs of mold or water damage you or your agent might miss. Again, this doesn’t replace a thorough inspection, but it’s better than nothing.
- Make a larger down payment or pay cash for the home.
The larger the down payment, the more alluring it is to the seller to accept your offer and the inspection that goes along with it.
- Add an automatic escalation clause.
Since you already know there will probably be multiple buyers bidding for the same house, put in the contract that you will go up to x dollars automatically with a ceiling of y dollars. For example, if you start at $185,00 and you are outbid, you can automatically go up in $1,000 increments until it reaches your ceiling of $200k.
Closing Reasons Not to Skip the Home Inspection
“For most people, a house is the largest purchase of their lives. It’s important to understand the true condition of the home. As a certified home inspector who has inspected thousands of homes, there are always items that are easy to overlook or not visible to the untrained eye,” states Dave Christopher, Owner of Integrity Home Evaluation Services, LLC.
A home inspection will increase your confidence about a property’s actual condition before signing on the bottom line. Having a professional’s report in hand will allow you to negotiate repairs or back away entirely from the deal if your inspector encounters significant issues.
Not all home inspectors are the same. We are Licensed by the State of Ohio and ASHI certified. Choosing us for your home inspection ensures that you will have all the information you need to make a practical decision on your home. Schedule your inspection today!