I overheard another tenured Realtor in my office yesterday talking about home inspections with another realtor. The conversation played out like this:
“Well, my buyer has opted to not get a home inspection because the property is sold as-is”
“Would you ever buy a car without test driving it? And if buying a home is the largest purchase a family makes, wouldn’t you think it be important enough to get it checked out first before financing hundreds of thousands of dollars?”
In the Hampton Roads area we currently have a slew of foreclosures and short-sales available, most containing the verbiage “As is-where is” on the home description. Meaning the seller will not fix anything in or around the home. What happens often is that the prices of these homes are quite enticing and lead buyers to believe they are getting great deals. The reality is that sometimes they are, but sometimes they aren’t. This is where the home inspection comes into play.
Home inspections range roughly $350-$500 and should be viewed as an investment for the future of the home. Think about this minimal investment as “Peace of mind insurance.” Just because a home has been built in the last decade or so doesn’t mean there’s not an issue with the foundation, or moisture issues within the drywalls, or something else that is invisible to the consumer’s eye but blatantly obvious to a professional. As much as we want to believe home owners will be honest and disclose any defects with the property, unfortunately that is not always the case. In addition, issues with the home are not always apparent to the homeowner prior to listing the home on the market. There’s been numerous times we’ve been through the home inspection process only to identify an issue with the home that the homeowner had no clue about.
Veteransunited.com published a great article discussing a handful of reasons why it’s so important to get a home inspection done. All points resonated with me, but the “Negotiate” paragraph was by far the most important. Why? Well, as a Realtor, it’s my duty to protect my clients’ best interest at all times. Therefore, it’s critical that I insert verbiage into all of my buyer agreements to allow my client to back out of the agreement should something critical evolve from the home inspection. I would never want my clients to buy a home blind, then months down discover they have plumbing, foundation, or any other significant issues. Despite the logical call to a repairman to fix the issue, the lion share of the time they call me to complain. Perhaps the home inspection is really “Peace of mind insurance” for both the clients’ and myself!