The Home Inspection Process
It CAN be SO Much Better!
Article by Deb Staley
When you purchase a car, it is best if you write up a contract on it, get your financing in place, and then test drive it. Also, when having major surgery, it is best to go ahead and just have it done; then you can seek a second opinion. What? No good?
Well this is what we do with home sales. Home buyers write an earnest money check; sign long, complicated contracts; and then pay more money for various inspections to make sure the home doesn’t have serious defects. Then we get to painfully renegotiate the deal—every time—because there are always problems with every home. There are no perfect homes—not even new ones.
For some reason, this is just the way we do things here in the Kansas City area. I’m just an old computer programmer, so doing things logically and in order makes more sense to me. Basic inspections are not that expensive; it costs around $500 for a typical home inspection including a termite inspection/official report. If a seller pays for a pre-listing inspection, he/she can attach the inspection report to the Seller’s Disclosure and feel good about divulging everything material about the home. It is the right thing to do. A seller can opt to repair certain items or not and the buyers can decide—up front—if those things are a problem for them. No hassles necessary.
All that said, with the crazy seller’s market that we are now in, home buyers are frequently having to waive their right to inspection just to get a home. This is not good. This is not fair. In the past, buyers have often asked for a lot of repairs and things that were unreasonable. The pendulum has swung so far in the other direction though and is now ridiculous. Sellers shouldn’t even be accepting offers from buyers who waive inspections. Why is that? Sellers are legally obligated to disclose material defects. What if a seller forgets to disclose something material? The buyer can sue the seller, that’s what. A home inspection might have revealed the defect and it could have been addressed. Selling a property “AS IS” does NOT get a seller out of this. “As Is” just means a seller is not going to fix or repair anything.