If you are trying to make your offer on what you think is the Waterloo Region home of your dreams as attractive as possible to the sellers, skipping a home inspection might seem like a good plan. Here’s why it’s not.
If you’re searching for a home to buy in a hot real estate market, and it seems like every offer you do make is getting beat out it is indeed tempting to resort to measures that usually would be considered rather desperate. In addition to agreeing to pay over asking, agreeing to skip an inspection is sometimes a tool some home buyers think will help get their bid accepted over others.
This, however, is never going to be a good idea. Sure, everything looks great to the naked eye but it’s usually what lies beneath the well-staged ‘shell’ of a home that is potentially problematic, and many of those things take a trained eye to catch. The simple fact is however good a home is, or how much you want it, you need an inspection. Otherwise you could end up in a real mess. Just imagine how you’d feel if, three months down the road, when you’ve moved into your lovely new dream home you go to turn the heat on and realize it doesn’t work properly — and the fix is $10,000.
But, you cry, we really want the house. The good news is that there are alternatives that will help you ensure you get the home inspection you need and still remain a very competitive bidder:
Pre Sale Inspections
If you really, really love the Kitchener-Waterloo home you viewed you could order an inspection prior to making an offer. In the worst case scenario you lose a few hundred dollars inspecting a property you don’t buy. In the best however you find out the home passes muster and you can then waive your inspection contingency because you’ve done it already, something your ‘competitors’ will likely not have done.
Trust a Seller’s Inspection
Increasingly, a home seller will have their property inspected before they list it. In doing so they can iron out any issues in advance of listing and be able to let buyers know upfront exactly what they’ll be paying for. It also allows them to come up with a more accurate listing price right from the start.
The only issue with a seller’s inspection is that the inspector is liable only to the person who paid for and ordered the inspection; the seller. If that person missed something, you as a buyer don’t have any recourse, but for some home buyers that’s less of a risk than no inspection at all.
Prepare to Move Quickly
If the market is really moving fast, and you are advised to get your offer in so quickly that there really is no time to inspect, pre-schedule an appointment for a day or so after offers are due to be reviewed, so that if you are the ‘winning bidder’ your need for an inspection won’t really slow things down at all. Include all of this in your offer letter so that the seller knows about it too.
One final word, don’t get so caught up in the drama of a bidding war that you lose all common sense. In buying a new home you will be undertaking the buying what is for most people the biggest asset they have. Buying a home without an inspection is simply a risk that you cannot afford to take.