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The housing market has exploded, with home prices rising beyond all reason in some markets. Home prices have doubled or tripled during the last five years, and in some cities, the asking prices for homes are considered only to be suggested opening bids. Homes often sell in a few days or even hours, and would-be buyers are tiring of losing out to higher bidders. In order to achieve an advantage over other bidders, some people are offering to buy homes without a professional inspection. What do they gain from such an offer? Is declining an inspection an OK thing for a buyer to do?
Traditionally, a professional home inspection is a valued component of the home buying process. While inspections are rarely required by law, most buyers would prefer to have any home they might purchase inspected before committing to purchase. The inspectors look for problems with foundations, plumbing, wiring, and termite infestation. In addition, they often check to make sure the home meets building, zoning, and easement codes. The fee of several hundred dollars, paid by the buyer, can turn out to be a bargain if the inspection determines that the home needs thousands of dollars in repairs. At that point, the buyer can walk away from the home or negotiate a financial compromise with the seller in hopes of having the problem repaired prior to sale.
The current housing market has brought about a lot of changes in traditional real estate rules. Buyers who want an “edge” over other bidders in markets where sales are brisk might offer to buy the home without an inspection. This might motivate the owner to sell to them, rather than another buyer who might insist upon the inspection. In short, these buyers are offering to take the home on an as-is basis. Is there any benefit to this?
Most real estate experts agree that it is foolish to purchase a home without a prior inspection. While some problems can easily be seen by even the most casual of browsers, others, such as termite infestation or a cracked foundation, might only be noticed by a professional inspector. These problems can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair, and in some cases, might even render the home legally uninhabitable. Anyone who offers to buy a home without an inspection is taking a serious risk, as they could find themselves the owner of a home that he or she cannot afford to repair. There may not even be any benefit to buying without an inspection, as most homes in hot markets sell for more than the asking price whether the home is inspected or not. If you cannot inspect a home prior to purchase, it would probably be wise to pass and wait for another suitable property to come along.
©Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing.
Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including End-Your-Debt.com, a Website devoted to debt consolidation and credit counseling information and HomeEquityHelp.net, a site devoted to information on mortgages and home equity loans.
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