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Buying “As Is” Without Inspections

You’ve undoubtedly seen houses listed “as is,” but those two words should send up a red flag. When a seller lists a property “as is,” it means the seller will not warranty any defects in the house. What you see is what you get with these houses. Before making an offer on an “as is” house, pay to have the home professionally inspected. It will cost around $400, depending on the size of the house and the complexity of the inspection, but what you learn about the condition of the home will save you from getting stuck with unexpected, expensive repair cost.


What to watch for When House  Hunting

Touring potential properties can be fun. You get to envision a new life for yourself in every home you visit — and seeing all the decor and style choices is exciting, too.

But it’s also easy to get swept up in that excitement. Remember: You’re making a huge decision, and letting your guard down could mean big problems down the road.

Are you currently hunting for a new place? Want to make sure you choose the right one? Watch for these red flags next time you’re on a tour.

Lots of Fresh Paint
Repainting before selling is normal, but if there are large swaths of the walls or ceilings that seem to have heavy layers of paint, it could be an attempt to cover something up. Be especially wary of ceiling cover-ups, as they could conceal water damage and deeper problems.

Sloppy Renovations
Has the place obviously been renovated recently? If so, you’ll want to find out if the work was permitted and done professionally. Otherwise, you could have extensive repairs down the road.

Below-Market Pricing
Does the price seem too good to be true? It could indicate that lots of repairs or updates are needed. We can discuss comparable properties and pricing in the area to determine market rates.

Sold “As Is”
If a property is being marketed this way, it means the seller knows there are issues with the property but is unwilling to make the repairs. You may want to get multiple inspections before buying a home like this to get an idea of any issues and what you’ll need to repair.

Reach out today if you need assistance with your home search.

How to Find a Good Home Inspector Who Will Save Your Butt Big-Time

If you’re wondering how to find a good home inspector, you’re not alone. No matter how amazing a home looks, you’ll want to kick those tires—hard—before you buy. And that means you need to know how to find a good home inspector.

A home inspector examines a home and points out any flaws, from a leaky roof to a faulty foundation. Typically home inspections happen in the days after your offer has been accepted but before you close the deal. That way, you can accurately gauge whether you really want to move forward, cut your losses, or renegotiate with the seller for a fairer price.

But an inspection is only as good as your inspector, so you have to make sure you’re dealing with someone who really knows their stuff. Here’s how to find a home inspector who’ll ace the job.

By Audrey Ference | Jul 11, 2017


Should Sellers Hire a Home Inspector, Too? The Pros and Cons of Pre-inspection

very home buyer knows hiring a home inspector to check out a property before closing is a good idea. In fact, a home inspection is often a requirement for a mortgage. The trickier question is this: Should home sellers also hire a home inspector to conduct a pre-inspection? That’s where you have an inspector scrutinize your property for problems before it’s even listed.

Is a pre-inspection worthwhile? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Pro: A pre-inspection means fewer surprises

Regardless of who’s doing the hiring, a certified home inspector evaluates about 1,600 items that make up the property’s foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The purpose is to uncover hidden and potentially expensive problems that could affect the value of the home.

For buyers, the results of a home inspection contingency in a sales contract can empower them to request repairs, reopen price negotiations, or abandon the deal without forfeiting their earnest money.

For sellers, the benefits of a pre-inspection are less clear-cut. At the very least, it offers some peace of mind: Identifying problems, or lack thereof, can soften the suspense of waiting to hear back from the buyer’s home inspector about possibly pricey repairs that might be deemed necessary.

Con: A pre-inspection costs money

Still, only 10% of home inspectors are hired by sellers, says Claude McGavic, executive director of the National Association of Home Inspectors. And one reason for this may be simply money.

On average, a home inspection will cost about $200 to $500. Because pre-inspections aren’t required, that’s cash you could put toward other things such as home improvements or repairs that you know will help sell your home.

Pro: A pre-inspection gives you time to fix problems

However, pre-inspections give sellers the ability to fix problems ahead of time—and present buyers with a clean bill of health on the property.

“If the seller knows what an inspector thinks is wrong with the house, they can fix it before the buyer’s inspector shows up,” says McGavic. This also presents a strong first impression to buyers, who may see your house in a more positive light and boost their offer.

Con: A pre-inspection doesn’t mean you’re in the clear

Just because you hired a home inspector doesn’t mean the buyers won’t hire their own—and their results won’t necessarily be the same.

“If you had 10 different inspectors out to the home, you would very likely get 10 completely different reports,” says Atlanta real estate agent Bill Golden. “Some of the issues that the seller addressed may not have come up at all. All in all, I think it’s a waste of time and money.”

In other words, even if you spring for a pre-inspection and address the issues that come up, the buyer’s inspector might have overlooked those problems—instead identifying new problems that require more repairs. And because buyers will typically trust their inspector more than yours, they may demand that these other issues get fixed, too.

Con: A pre-inspection could obligate you to disclose these problems

Another downside to pre-inspections is that once home sellers are aware of a problem, they may be required by law to disclose them to buyers. These laws vary by state, so ask your listing agent for more specifics. Generally, bad history—flooding, sewage backups—must be disclosed if you know about it. And because this could perhaps scare off buyers or complicate negotiations, it’s no wonder that some sellers may prefer to stay blissfully ignorant.

“Not that you want to hide anything,” Golden says, “but you may be shining a light on things that may not have ever become issues if you hadn’t hired an inspector. It creates mountains out of molehills and prolongs the process.”

That said, McGavic thinks a seller has a “moral if not legal” obligation “to find out if there’s anything wrong with their house.”

In other words, it might be the right thing to do. So, is a pre-inspection right for you? There is no right or wrong answer, so it pretty much boils down to whether you prefer to nip potential problems in the bud, or wait and see if they develop.

By Lisa Gordon | Aug 16, 2016

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