Do I Really Need To Get A Home Inspection?

Dated: May 31 2019

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Rustic Kitchen in White

Buying a home is typically one of the biggest investments people make in their lives, and the various costs of purchasing one can add up quickly, tempting buyers to try and save where they can.  For homes that appear to be in great condition, buyers sometimes consider skipping a home inspection. While waiving the home inspection contingency can make a buyer’s offer more appealing in a multiple offer situation, it also shifts considerable risk onto the buyer that usually falls on the seller.

Let me backup for a minute and say that in Tennessee sellers are typically required to disclose defects with the home that they know of, but, crucially - they’re not obligated to make efforts to discover defects that they are unaware of - nor are they expected to have the expertise a home inspector does to recognize flaws that might be in plain sight and visually apparent to a professional.

Some sellers are exempt from these disclosures - usually people who haven’t lived in the home for three or more years, such as landlords, or for sales ordered by the court, such as sales to settle an estate.  These sales become a true buyer beware situation, and the seller can be fully aware of defects, but doesn’t have to disclose. And the problems may not be obvious, and the home may appear to be in excellent shape.

Which all goes to say that a home that appears to be in great condition, and for which a seller has disclosed no significant issues, may have problems that haven’t been discovered.  In some instances those hidden problems can be expensive to rectify. The buyer’s offer is based on what the buyer can afford - yes - but also on the value of the home. A foundation problem discovered after the buyer’s offer was made - and the value of the home calculated - effectively diminishes the value of the home by whatever it costs to fix the issue.

The savvy buyer who conducts a home inspection tends to learn of costly issues before they become the buyer’s sole problem, and then, working with their agent, they can negotiate with the seller to have the seller either fix the defects, or to reduce the purchase price to reflect the value of the home in its present condition.

Those negotiated repairs or savings will often far exceed the fee paid to the home inspector, making the home inspection a value well worth its cost. And if the home passed with flying colors? Frankly, that’s peace of mind that you made a great choice on a home, and it is well worth the cost.

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James Houk

A graduate of MTSU, I worked on local independent films before becoming a REALTOR®. And as different as those jobs may seem, they’re both really about the same thing – taking people&rs....

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