When NOT to get a Home Inspection

One of the most important roles we fulfill as Buyers Agents is advising our clients on how to accomplish their buying goals AND save money in the process.

New agents often ask, “What can I do to become the best Buyer’s Agent I can be in the least amount of time?” The answer never changes… attend as many home inspections as possible to become familiar with conditions that might impact safety or the financeability of a property.

Financing: It’s Not All About the Buyer

A common misunderstanding about qualifying for a mortgage is that the burden rests 100% on the shoulders of a Buyer. 

The truth is, properties must also qualify. During showings, a seasoned Rockstar Buyer’s Agent will be able to pinpoint areas of potential concern for a Buyer’s selected loan type.

Don’t Waste Money On a Home Inspection…

One of the most wasteful things a Buyer can do is spend money on getting a home inspection on a property that is a mis-match for condition on the get-go. 

Granted, as Realtors®, we are not inspectors and cannot possibly protect our clients from what we do not know and lack the licensing or qualifications to discuss. In addition, we are obligated to obey our clients’ wishes, and when they instruct us to extend an offer, we must (even if we don’t think it is a good idea). However, this next bit of good advice can go a long way toward prudent due diligence.

Start With Deal Killers and FREE FIRST

In the North Texas market, many homes built prior to 1985 often have cast iron sewer lines. Over time, cast iron tends to oxidizes in the soil and can become paper-thin. This leads to easy breakage due to normal structural shifting, pipe collapse, and penetration by tree roots — resulting in slab leaks. Often, structural settlement occurs as a result of slab leaks, but homeowners don’t recognize the cause.  They typically find out about the slab leak as a byproduct of foundation repair, which usually concludes with a hydrostatic test to ensure the plumbing survived the work performed.

Using this as an example, a Rockstar Buyer’s Agent in the North Texas market upon noticing settlement in a home might suggesting asking a Seller to perform a hydrostatic test — or advise the Buyer to do the same after getting under contract and BEFORE completing a general home inspection. (We recommend Accurate Leak and Line in the DFW Metroplex for hydrostatic testing.) A slab leak can result in a big repair bills, and renders a property non-financeable until repaired. If a slab leak is discovered, and a Seller is unwilling to repair this item, what value would a general home inspection noting a an oven that is off a few degrees in temperature provide?

Similarly, roof structures needing repairs or replacement have the capacity to render a home uninsurable — which then makes it non-financeable. Climbing up on roofs during showings is neither advisable nor expected. Even for a well-trained eye, it can be impossible to discern condition from the yard or street level. Further, Realtors® are not generally qualified to assess roof condition. Many roofing companies offer free opinions & quotes, and are experienced in working with claims adjusters. Considering that a general home inspector would almost certainly refer a Buyer to a qualified roofing contractor for estimates if adverse conditions were noted, why not start off with a competent roofer — especially if the Buyer’s money is tight and the service is free? Again, if a Seller is unwilling or unable to address a matter of this nature and the Buyer’s financing type won’t accept such a condition, it doesn’t make sense for a Buyer to proceed, does it?

We Love Our Home Inspectors

Don’t get us wrong. Our Realtors® at Providence Group Realty highly value and respect all of our vendor partners and the valuable services they provide. We also have a respectful approach toward doing the most good when we represent Buyers in the marketplace, and embrace a practical business attitude toward due diligence expenditures, helping to save our clients money throughout the home-buying process.

To hire one of our Rockstar Buyer’s Agents to represent you on your next home purchase, call 469.645.6363, or visit our website at www.providencegrouprealty.com.  

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