HIQA: What’s the best approach to home inspections in a crazy market?

DDHI Home Inspector Q & A

The real estate market is nuts right now in Tucson (and many other places). Very low inventory (few homes for sale), multiple offers on a home for sale, offers above asking, cash offers, etc. To make their offer more competitive, some buyers are considering waiving the home inspection contingency. This means buying a house as-is, meaning in the exact condition it is in – no repairs by the seller. This also means giving up the option to be able to back out of the contract in case the home inspection reveals a major defect with the home. Yikes! That is scary! So what is the best approach to home inspections in a crazy market?

Always get a home inspection – period!

Waiving the home inspection contingency is a very bad idea as I said before. Buyers agents should always do their best to convince buyers to get a home inspection. Most buyers do not understand the risks they are facing buying a home as-is. Furthermore, most buyers do not have the financial resources to deal with sudden major repairs or expenses after moving into a house that was no inspected. $9,000 for a new HVAC system? $8,000 for a new roof? $6,000 for a new sewer line? $8,000 to re-pipe the house? $7,000 to replace the electrical system? If one or more of those issues pop up after moving into the new home, few people can calmly say, “Meh, no worries, I can handle it.”

No home buyer wants to find this out the hard way after moving into the house they just bought as-is. Also, no buying agent wants to get that call from their client after they moved in. Finally, no listing agent wants to get that call from the buyer. The best way to avoid that call? Get a home inspection. 

Are there other options?

If the circumstances require waiving the home inspection contingency and there is no way around it, there are other options you should consider to mitigate the potential fallout from taking this step. While not ideal, they will help you at least prepare you better for potential issues down the road, plan ahead, budget accordingly, and hopefully avoid bad surprises. 

Get a home inspection anyway

Waiving the inspection contingency does not have to mean waiving inspections altogether. Wait, what? Let me explain: Waiving the contingency means that you can no longer use the home inspection as an excuse to back out of the contract or to ask the sellers to make repairs. However, you can still ask to have inspections done. The point is to gather detailed information about the home you’re about to purchase for your information and education. The buyers agent will have to write the contract accordingly to make sure the seller understands the difference. 

The way this works is that you agree to not cancel the contract due to any inspection findings. You also agree not to ask the seller for repairs. This obviously makes your offer more attractive to the seller. However, you still ask for an inspection period so you can have a home inspection. This allows you to find out everything you need to know about the house to plan ahead and budget for future repairs and upgrades. This avoids bad surprises that nobody wants. Lastly, it gives you a thorough overview of the home, its components, their age and condition. 

Get a walk-n-talk consultation

If you can’t get a full home inspection for whatever reason, do not resign yourself to going in completely blind! As another option, Desert Diamond Home Inspections offers walk-n-talk consultations for home buyers. How does this work?

You contact us to schedule a walk-n-talk consultation. At the appointment, an experienced home inspector will walk the property with the client for up to an hour. The inspector will verbally point out any significant visible defects or other issues for concern that the home buyer should know about. In addition, the inspector will answer any questions the buyer might have about the home, home maintenance, repairs, upgrades, etc. This gives the client access to the experience, knowledge, and expertise of a seasoned home inspector. 

The client will walk away from the appointment with a much better understanding of the home and its components. The client will be aware of potential issues they might encounter as well as recommendations how to address them. Most importantly, the client will have a bit more peace of mind about the home. 

The best approach to home inspections in a crazy market

Long story short: If at all possible, the client should get a home inspection – always! There is simply no substitute for it and the wealth of information the client will gain from it. The risks of waiving inspections are simply too high, and are almost guaranteed to end in tears, regrets, and/or unkind words to parties involved. 

However, if a full home inspection is simply not possible due to the circumstances, we encourage the client to hire us at least for a walk-n-talk consultation. This service provides valuable education and information to the client and is lightyears better than going in blind. 

Contact us today – call us to find out more about our walk-n-talk consultation service and how to book an appointment for a very reasonable fee.