With mortgage rates lower than ever and inventory so low as well, the housing market just keeps getting hotter and hotter. And with all of the signs pointing to a continued strong seller’s market, it can be tempting for buyers to do anything in their power to seal the deal — even actions that might end up being to their own detriment.
One current trend that buyers have been suggesting to pull contracts into their favor is to negotiate away some contingencies. To speed things up and make the entire sales process simpler, some buyers have even been considering skipping the home inspection process altogether.
Inspectors and agents speculate that this trend has been on the rise during the pandemic because it can accelerate the entire process by a week or more. Also, with home prices continuing to inflate, buyers may be enticed to save the few hundred dollars an inspections would cost.
But just because the home looks to be in good shape doesn’t mean that it actually is. The few hundred spent on a home inspection can actually save you thousands on your investment. And seven to nine extra days could save you years of headache.
A home inspection is a careful and thorough examination of your potential purchase property’s safety and current condition. A professional home inspector will likely catch all kinds of things that you — and even your real estate agent — may not, as they climb into attics, crawl into crawl spaces, and search the basement pipes for structural issues and other concerns in need of repair.
This isn’t a contingency you want to pass up, because while the home might be cosmetically brilliant, home inspections can unearth problems that come with hefty price tags. Depending on an inspection’s findings, a buyer may choose to move on to closing, renegotiate the sale price, request repairs, or cancel the sales contract. But if you waive the inspection, once you’ve signed on the dotted line… that mess is yours.
What’s more, the past year has seen a rise in virtual home tours, which means getting a home inspection is that much more important. Of course, you can ask the agent hosting the tour to show you specific areas of the home, but in the end, they are the ones holding the camera, and they will show you what they want you to see. It may be hard to get the best sense of plumbing problems or HVAC issues. So having an inspector survey the home — in person — is an essential smart step in ensuring the house is as solid as you believe it to be.
Inspectors can climb, or even use drones, to check for roof conditions. They bring special equipment to detect leaks, moisture, drainage issues, water quality, termite damage, mold, and even Radon. They can even tell you if trees on your property are dead or diseased and are in danger falling on your home or causing other damage.
If the time spent getting a home inspection is actually that major of a problem, look for certified American Society of Home Inspectors or International Association of Certified Home Inspectors that offer expedited services. (One we like to work with is HomeTeam Inspection Service.) These days you might even be able to fast-forward the processes by finding an expert who will submit their detailed reports in a day or two. We’ve even heard of some inspectors who use apps to submit reports while they are still on the property!
Don’t rush or allow yourself to be rushed. If the seller is pushing you to waive the inspection, you should find this questionable and wonder why they want to hurry you and what they may have to hide. If it’s you, on the other hand, who thinks waiving the home inspection will better your chances to purchase that home you’ve fallen in love with, just know that a little patience could end up saving you from serious problems.
Home inspections are as important as ever.