Buying a home can be a stressful process, and most likely the most important financial decision you’ll ever make. Many first-time buyers don’t realize that there are some crucial steps in home buying such as arranging for a home inspection. Maybe people also wonder, “do I need a home inspection or not?” A home inspection can provide the ounce of prevention to help you feel more secure in your new home and alleviate some of the stress of a first-time purchase.
On the other end of the spectrum, occasionally we hear stories of buyers that skip their home inspection as a negotiation tactic. Forgoing your inspection contingency can definitely sweeten your offer in a competitive seller’s market like Colorado. However, this is also an extremely risky thing to do.
If you are thinking of skipping a home inspection, here’s why you shouldn’t:
Gain a deep understanding of the home.
Every home is a little different. Pick two homes built in the exact same year in the same neighborhood, and I could give you a laundry list of differences between the two. This is especially true with older homes. Additions, renovations, and upgrades can change a home drastically. Because of this, you need an expert. Someone that has seen hundreds or thousands of homes and has diagnosed the systems of each.
A home inspection gives a top to bottom overview of a home, its condition, its systems, its hidden flaws. Unfortunately, a home inspection just highlights the bad news. But most of the time the news isn’t all that bad. Regardless, it gives you, the buyer, a deep understanding of the home. You can take this information and use it however you need.
We also recommend you use an ASHI certified home inspector. Colorado is one of the many states that does not require a state certification to become a home inspector. Using an ASHI certified inspector ensures your inspector has passed the national home inspection exam, has performed at least 250 inspections, and more.
At Scott Home Inspection, all of our inspectors are ASHI certified.
A benefit to you before and after negotiation.
When buying a home, the number one reason to get a home inspection is to negotiate. When you get the report, you and your realtor can put together your objections in hopes the seller will address them or price them into the sale.
However, a lot of items found in a home inspection report are current or preventative maintenance items. These smaller defects might not be worth asking the seller to fix, but it is great to have a punch list or a honey-do list for when you move-in.
This will help keep your home in great condition and prevent future issues.
Skipping a home inspection because of the seller.
On occasion, a seller may “encourage” a buyer to waive the inspection or they’ll say the house is being sold “as is”. Even if the house is sold “as is,” you may be able to negotiate in a health and safety item that comes up during the inspection. Consult with your realtor on this claim to see if your particular deal could work this way.
Sellers are typically more prone to negotiation if a big health and safety item is found. This is because if you decide to walk away from the deal, they now are obligated to disclose these issues to the next buyer.
In rare cases, a seller may be trying to hide something in the home by selling the property as is as well. This is a very bad idea as a seller and can put them in a tough legal situation in the future. However, it still happens occasionally and as a buyer you don’t want to get caught in the middle. A home inspection can help dig out these cover-ups and avoid them or mitigate the situation.
To be there… or not to be there
Whether or not you are available to be in the home at the time of inspection, be sure to read the reports in detail, to identify if any follow up is needed. A thorough home inspection can uncover information that can protect you in the short and long run. We always encourage our clients to attend if possible or at least come for a first-hand summary.
Even if you are not on the hip of the inspector during the inspection, this gives you time to walk the property yourself. I always thought it was crazy that people make one of the biggest purchase decisions of their lives, but only get to see the property for 15 mins during the showing.
The inspection gives you a couple of hours to measure rooms, envision different furniture setups, and plan out any immediate remodel projects. You can make great use of the time!
Most inspectors will tell you that they perform a higher quality service when you are not following there every step, but this is a great time to voice your concerns to the inspector so they are aware. It is also recommended you have your inspector show you your main emergency shut offs. These are documented in our reports, but seeing them in person is beneficial.
As you can imagine, we do not recommend skipping a home inspection.
Obviously, as a home inspection company, we advise people to not skip their home inspection. But we only say that because we truly believe in the value we are providing to future homeowners. Our mission since the company was started was to help Colorado families live in safe, healthy, and comfortable homes, and we believe our home inspections help complete that mission.
If we have talked you out of skipping your home inspection, then you can click here to get more information and see some of our add-on inspections that will give you even more insight on a home.