According to Realtor.com, the US was short 5.2 million homes in 2021. This competitive market has buyers being creative to win offers, including dropping the home inspection contingency. Many buyers feel that dropping the inspection request will put them in a better position to get an accepted offer. I’m quite sure this does garner points from sellers, but is it worth it for the buyers?. I think everyone in the real estate business would or should argue against the practice because of the unfair financial risk this places on buyers.
Key Reasons Not to Skip the Home Inspection
- Buying a home is one of the largest purchases a person ever makes. This isn’t the time to skip steps. The home inspection contingency is written into the offer to purchase for a reason. If it wasn’t important or necessary, it wouldn’t be there
- Home Inspections can uncover major defects in the home that can end up costing buyers thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. Home prices are already inflated and adding in the cost of a new roof can really negatively affect a buyer’s investment.
- While homeowners are usually required to disclose major defects, we know that it’s not unheard of for sellers to leave out things. Even if they disclose everything they know, there still may be underlying issues they are unaware of.
- In this market buyers are paying top dollar for homes. They should have the right to know what they are buying.
What Can You Do to Combat This New Trend?
Make Your Offer More Appealing to the Sellers!
- Make a larger down payment in lieu of forgoing the home inspection. Remember that if the home inspection comes back with serious defects and the seller refuses to fix or negotiate, you should get that down payment back. The larger down payment may be appealing to the home seller especially if they are confident in the condition of the home.
- Add an escalation clause to the offer. Your realtor can put wording in the offer that you will beat any other offer by say $500 or $1000 up to a certain amount. So say you are willing to go to $220,000 for a house but you want to offer $215,000. You would put in an official offer of $215,000 with extra wording saying you will beat any offer by $100,000 up to $220,000. This is often a great incentive for seller’s and may outweigh forgoing the home inspection.
- Be Prepared. Have your financing in place and a pre-approval letter. Have as short a contingency time period as possible. You could call a qualified home inspector and see how far out they are booked. If they have openings fairly soon, you could shorten the contingency time. I DO NOT recommend you shorten the time without knowing you can get an inspector booked. Many home inspectors are booked out two weeks and you don’t want to have to use a less experienced home inspector just to get it done quickly.
- Send your offer with a letter to the sellers. Let them know about your family and how much you would love to live in the home. It makes your offer personal. Most seller’s love their home and would love to know that someone amazing wants to live there, appreciates it and would care for it like they did.
Seller’s may just choose your offer over others if you make it more appealing, even if there is a home inspection contingency. If they don’t, there might just be a reason why they don’t want that home inspection and maybe you are better off.
The home inspection is a key part of the home buying process. It affords the buyer the chance to know what condition the property is and how it will affect their safety and finances. Skipping this key step has been a decision many home buyers have ended up regretting. I would also be leery of any realtor or real estate professional that encourages you to skip this step. If they represent you, they should have your long term best interest at heart and prioritize that over a quick home sale.
Have patience, be smart and strategic and you will eventually find the right home!