Despite the challenging year of 2020, home sales rose dramatically, and due to a lack of inventory calling it a “seller’s market” is to understate the conditions of the real estate industry very much in most American cities and towns in 2021.
In a strong seller’s real estate market there is an inclination by many to forgo a home inspection. Some people are exhausted from their home search, the competition in multiple offers, and because cash deals are now frequently made in a bidding war, some hopeful, would-be buyers feel that waiving a home inspection will strengthen their offer.
“Big mistake,” says Dan Steward, President and CEO of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®, the No. 1 Home Inspection company in North America. In 2020, the Tampa based franchise network inspected real estate valued at over $55 billion and served hundreds of thousands of customers. In addition, 40 new offices were opened growing their network to 600 offices across USA and Canada. Here’s his advice:
- Try to remove emotions from the process. Yes, it’s difficult, but this is likely the major investment of your life. Don’t get stuck with a house needing thousands in repairs because you love how it looks on the surface.
- Assume the home doesn’t show many possible issues on the tour. For example, the typical buyer won’t be able to spot asbestos or radon, evidence of termite infestation, or a leak inside the HVAC system.
- Move quickly. If you find a home you love and are ready to make an offer, let the seller know you can have the inspection done quickly. There is a backlog of work for home inspectors due to the pandemic and the “gold rush” tone to the market right now. Call a qualified home inspector before you begin your hunt. Try to arrange with him/her a promise of the home inspection within 48 hours of an offer. It could happen if they have notice you are on a serious search.
- If you are working with a good, reliable, real estate agent, he or she will likely have the connections and support to handle the above task for you. Just be sure to let your Realtor know from the beginning that this is something you wish to do quickly.
- Smart sellers may have already had a pre-sale home inspection, even in a competitive market, because they will likely not want to go through a negotiation process with any buyer. If they have used a trustworthy home inspection company this could eliminate a task for you. However, be aware that the inspector is liable only to the person who paid for and ordered the inspection. That is the seller. If that inspector missed something, you don’t have any recourse.