You’re smart. You’re careful. You’re a Hands on Home Buyer. So you’re obviously not going to buy a house without having a home inspection.
But instead of waiting until after your purchase offer is accepted, should you have your house inspected before you make an offer?
If you’re just starting out, you may not know when most people have their inspection. So let me fill in the basics.
You make your purchase offer by filling out a contract stating the price you’re willing to pay and the terms of the sale. Your contract will also include several contingencies that allow you to walk away from a purchase offer in some situations without losing your shirt.
One of those contingencies is the home inspection contingency. If your home inspection turns up problems, you have some options.
But that same home inspection contingency can keep a seller from accepting your offer at all. Why?
How Home Sellers See Home Inspections
To someone trying to sell his home, a home inspection is nothing but trouble. If problems come up (and all houses have problems) the buyer will probably ask the seller for repairs or walk away from the deal.
If you’re looking at houses in a seller’s market (there are more buyers than houses available), a seller might overlook your good offer in favor of another offer that doesn’t include a home inspection.
Does that mean that if you really want a house you should consider not getting a home inspection to make your offer look less scary to the seller?
But there’s one other way to remove the home inspection contingency without skipping it entirely.
Get a Home Inspection Before You Make an Offer
When you know you’ve found the house, have your inspection before you make your offer.
If the house is in basically good shape, you know it and can make a strong offer that will get a seller’s attention. If the inspector finds problems, you adjust your offer to allow for the repairs you’ll have to make.
But either way, the seller knows you’re serious about the house and won’t walk away a week after they take their house off the market because your inspector has suddenly discovered signs of water in the basement.
Home Inspection True Life Story
In my city, affordable houses in good condition sell quickly. (Can’t imagine why. Who would want a beautiful house with no major problems that doesn’t cost a fortune?)
I was working with a family who found their dream house. It looked like it was in great shape and the price was right.
The seller know it was a great buy too. He decided to accept all offers on one day, anticipating multiple offers.
The family I was working with decided to schedule their home inspection for two days before the seller looked at the offers. The inspector confirmed that the house was as good as it looked and had no major issues.
Of the five offers, only one didn’t have a home inspection contingency. Which offer do you think the seller accepted?
Yep. The family I knew has enjoyed the past seven years in their beautiful city home.
Get a Home Inspection
When you find your dream house, get your home inspection after you make your offer. Get your home inspection before you make your offer. But get your home inspection.