When purchasing a home an inspection is typically part of the process. More often than not inspections are done after a contract is signed. There is, however, something home buyers can do prior to signing the contract. If you are concerned you may lose your dream home by adding an inspection contingency but still want to make sure you are protected, consider a pre-offer inspection.
Buying a home is harder than usual these days, expect the unexpected. That includes a half dozen offers (some cash) for the house you want. Now, buyers often must win a house. Pre-offer inspections are one way to boost your odds of winning. Have the house inspected before you bid. More common in competitive real estate markets with multiple offers, this preliminary, information-only pre-offer home inspection evaluates a home’s major systems and any potential issues, giving home buyers the information to make an informed decision on whether to place an offer on a property. Pre-offer home inspections take much less time than conventional inspections and are a valuable option in time-sensitive situations.
Pre-offer inspections can be especially valuable in “as is” sales.
A seller who lists a home as is intends to complete the sale without making repairs or improvements or reducing the price because of the home’s condition. Although inspection contingencies would give you an out if the inspection results were unacceptable, a pre-offer inspection saves you the time and hassle of negotiating an offer on a home you’ll wind up not purchasing because it’s in poor repair. The stronger your offer, the better able you are to compete against other buyers. One way to sweeten the deal is to submit an offer that’s not contingent on acceptable inspection results. A pre-offer inspection gives you the information you need before you make the offer, so you won’t take the next step unless the home is worth buying as is.
Prequalifying for financing is common practice these days. Try using the same strategy for home inspections. You want the protection of a home inspection. Buying without a home inspection is foolish unless you happen to own a remodeling company. So, get the home inspected before you bid. Then make an offer that waives the right to inspection. That offer will stand out from the others. The other offers will be contingent on inspections, yours won’t. A few hundred dollars for a pre-offer inspection is a small price to pay to stand head-and-shoulders above other bids for the home you have always wanted.
In today’s competitive market smart agents are looking for every edge they can get for their clients. However, it’s still unusual for agents to coach buyers to inspect before bidding, even though that increases their chances of having the winning bid. Too often, the only focus is price. It might be easier to persuade buyers to spend $400 on a pre-offer inspection than it would be to make the call saying they lost the bid for the home they loved.