Buying Piece of Mind

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A Home Inspection is an Education

We had a call the other day from a very upset woman. She recently moved into a home she purchased and she quickly discovered many problems. She called in some contractors and they are telling her it will take $10’s of thousands of dollars to put things right. Normally for a home inspector, this type of a call would be a thing to create nightmares as we worry we didn’t do our job right, but in this case, the woman had waived a home inspection to try and ‘win’ a multiple offer deal.

Greater Vancouver is going through a crazy real estate market in the last year or so. There are just not enough homes available for sale for the number of buyers and this is causing prices to go up, and buyers to take risks. With houses approaching an average of $1,000,000 and a house inspection costing typically $500-600, a home inspection is worth 0.05% of the purchase price of a home. However, it is not the cost of the inspection that should be considered, it is the cost of the potential repairs.

Buying Piece of Mind

Getting a home inspection is what protects buyers that what they think they are buying is what they are really getting. Buyers think they are buying a house in average condition in good working order but a 10-minute walkthrough at an open house is not enough time to make that evaluation. An investment in a home inspection can keep you from discovering $10’s of thousands of dollars in potential hidden costs.

A Word of Warning to Realtors

As a word of warning to realtors (both selling and listing), if you have not done everything you can to give the buyer a chance to make an informed decision, you could be facing a lawsuit for breach of duty to the buyers.

Listing Realtors - If you are putting a house for sale on Saturday and taking offers Sunday night, this might drive a fast deal but it does not give buyers a window for a proper look at the home. Consider opening the home to inspection on Tuesday morning (give buyers a business day Monday to find an inspector) and take offers on Tuesday night instead. Even if buyers don’t have an inspection done, you gave the opportunity.

Buyers Agents - Buying a home is an emotional process and your professionalism should rise above the emotion. Be sure your clients understand the pro’s and con’s of having an inspection.

Final Thoughts

While I usually like to keep these articles quite light spirited, it really breaks my heart to hear stories about home purchases gone wrong when we didn’t even have a change to help a client. If you are a client looking for a home, we encourage you to have an inspection and will do everything we can to accommodate a tight schedule. And if you feel you just have to bid with no inspection, consider calling us after you win the bid to go through the home with you and help you understand what expenses may be coming in the near future.

By James Bell - Author | Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc