To avoid buying a potential migraine, some buyers have incorporated into the offer and acceptance a structural building report be done by a registered builder.
At present, we are experiencing a strong sellers market and Vendors often receive more than one offer on the same day for their home. In this environment, buyers are rethinking the building reports. Is this a good idea?
To Inspect or Not To Inspect
If the Vendor receives two offers and one requires a building inspection be done, most will choose the non-inspection offer with all other things being equal. In this case, a building inspection condition can put you at a competitive disadvantage.
- Are you willing to risk purchasing a home that may have some fundamental expensive problems?
- What if you purchase the home and then learn the plumbing may need replacing?
- What if the repair costs $10,000?
One option may be to include a provision in your offer that provides access for a home inspection done for informational purposes only. That way settlement under your offer is not conditioned upon the inspection.
It would NOT provide you with the option of amending the contract to have the seller make repairs, nor would it provide a way for you to void the contract should structural defects be uncovered. Should major structural defects be discovered, the vendor is bound to know the deal will be in jeopardy. For that reason, even an “informational” inspection won’t look as good as a contract with no requirement for a building inspection.
Another option you might consider is asking a friend working in the construction or engineering field to walk through the house with you. The goal, of course, is to look for any “red flags” that are deal killers.
If your friend doesn’t see anything disturbing, you can then write a clean contract offer without this condition. Sellers love no condition offers.
The chances are good that you’ll get the home you want, but still have some assurance there isn’t anything seriously wrong with the property.
There is no one right answer when it comes to deciding on building inspections. Each buyer has to ask himself how much risk he is willing to take.
If you are the only party making an offer, consider an inspection. If you are one of many potential buyers, well, you are going to have determine your comfort level. Others can provide information, but the decision is yours.