Some of the expenses associated with buying a home are unavoidable. You have to pay any past-due taxes and cover closing costs. Other expenses, like the homeowner’s title insurance policy or property inspections, are optional. You may choose to forgo those costs, although you have to give up the protection that they represent.
If you and your real estate agent have already walked through a property, you may feel confident about its condition and about the offer you want to make. Waiving the inspection could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but there are two very compelling reasons to get the inspection before you close.
An inspection will give you the right to back out over undisclosed issues
It is critical that you verify the condition of all major systems before you transfer funds to the seller — especially if you aren’t financing the purchase with a mortgage or intend to buy a property listed in as-is condition. The seller has a legal obligation to disclose things to you, but they may hope that you don’t notice certain issues until it’s too late to conclusively prove they knew about them.
An inspector will know how to check for common latent defects that could affect the livability and value of the property. If they find something substantial, an inspection contingency in your offer will allow you to walk away from the transaction without losing your earnest money.
An inspection helps you plan for future repair expenses
You may know that a new roof is going to be necessary in the next few years, but you may not realize that the boards under the shingles also require replacement — a need that will drastically increase the cost of re-roofing your house. An inspector can give you more details about the extent of existing damage and help you estimate the cost of necessary repairs.
Whether you are about to make an offer or want to pull out of an offer on a property with major defects, having an attorney helping you with your buying process will make such difficult steps easier for you.