From consulting with your real estate agent and visiting multiple open houses to finally signing the paperwork, the entire process of buying your dream home can often seem long and daunting. While it might be tempting to cut some corners in order for your application to stand out from competing bidders, getting a home inspection is a step you shouldn’t skip.
According to real estate brokerage Redfin, 20% of winning buyers waived their right to an inspection in June 2020 - a 51% increase from the previous year.
Unfortunately, skipping a home inspection can cost you a lot in the long run. First, let’s recap what is a home inspection and after that, let’s take a look at six reasons you should never skip a home inspection.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a professional visual examination of a property. Home inspections typically take place after the seller has accepted the buyer’s offer but before the buyer has fully committed to purchasing the home. However, there may also be a few instances where sellers decide to get a home inspection before putting their property for sale.
A home inspection involves assessing the home's foundation, roof, structural components, and other essential systems - including electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. Remember though, an inspector is a generalist. For some issues
Why get a home inspection?
If you’ve found a property you love, you’d want to make sure that you know what you are buying. According to a study conducted by Porch, 86% of buyers who got a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that needed to be addressed. Here are a few other reasons why getting a home inspection is essential:
1. You lose some negotiation power
Home inspection reports present an opportunity to ask for repairs or renegotiate prices with the seller. More than 80% of home sale prices are negotiated twice: for the initial offer and after the inspection. However, skipping the inspection means you lose the chance to renegotiate the price (based on the results of the inspection). You won’t get the chance to assess the home's condition and the potential costs, repairs, and maintenance it requires in the future. This information helps you make an informed decision.
2. You could unknowingly inherit costly repairs
Inspectors understand the property's current condition and give you an idea of the problems with the house, such as faulty gutters, cracked walls, cracked ceilings, etc. By forgoing the inspection, you risk letting major issues go undetected, leaving yourself liable to repair everything and having to pay for them yourself. It essentially means you’re paying more than you expected for the house.
3. It identifies issues that could cause health and safety hazards
A professional home inspection can detect potentially hazardous issues such as structural damage, outdated electrical wiring, deteriorating plumbing materials, or galvanized pipes - all safety issues you don’t want. Other safety issues like termites and mold are expensive to fix and pose serious health concerns. Without an inspection, you might be left in the dark about such problems that can negatively impact your family’s health and safety.
4. Insurance may not cover all these repairs
Understanding what repairs and replacements are needed and when can help you make important budgeting decisions and determine what type of home insurance coverage you should consider. Your insurance company may not agree to cover damages that occurred before you purchased the property. An inspection can identify issues beforehand, so you don't get stuck paying for them out of pocket later.
It's also worth noting that some lenders require an inspection report before extending you a mortgage loan. The lender is taking the risk of lending money to you to purchase the home; if there is a problem – such as an electrical issue that increases the risk of fire damage – the lender is likely to be hesitant about offering you the loan.
5. Inspections give you peace of mind
Even if you chose to waive your inspection contingency, it’s important to understand the condition of your home. Over 1 in 3 homeowners site unexpected repairs are their biggest regret (of buying a home). Inspections are the best way to save yourself the hassle.
It's also a good idea to have regular inspections every few years as a way to stay up-to-date about the condition of your home. Everything breaks down and needs to be repaired eventually - fixing problems early and often will save you money in the long run.
6. Inspection contingencies are your best friend
When you bid on a home, your real estate agent is likely to put an inspection contingency in the offer. Over 76% of buyers' agents who closed a sale in January 2018 had a contingency in place to protect their buyers.
The contingency states that if the inspection report uncovers problems that were not disclosed before completing the bid for the home, you (the buyer) can back out of the agreement. For example, if your home inspector finds a significant mold problem in the property, you can go back to the seller to renegotiate or rescind your offer.
Here’s the bottom line
Home inspections are a home buyer's best form of protection against overpaying for a home or dealing with unexpected repairs and safety hazards after moving in. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to make sure the house is safe for you and your family.
If you're trying to find the right inspector, you’ve come to the right place.
Inspectify has a nationwide network of home inspectors. You can book an inspection anywhere in the country in just a few minutes. Pretty cool, right? You can compare inspectors based on price, online reviews and rating, and time availability.
And that's not all! We also provide customers with easy-to-read inspection reports that include free repair cost estimates for all defects found - giving you data to back up your renegotiations.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you still have some unanswered questions, feel free to reach out or leave a comment and we'd be happy to help!