The Sellers market we are experiencing up and down the Front Range has put buyers into a bit of a frenzy. Not only are they competing with price, Buyers (with the help of their Buyer Agents) are more and more flexible when it comes to setting deadlines that work for the seller and are doing their darnedest to drop contingencies that one might never have compromised on 3 years ago.
Removal of the appraisal contingency when the Buyer is using all cash, is one thing. Giving up the right to inspection is something else. More and more often I am seeing listing agent notes in the MLS along the lines of “Priority will be given to strong offers with less contingencies”.
Let me get one thing straight. Unless you are planning on knocking down a house and starting from scratch or you have plenty of cash left over and the enthusiasm to tackle whatever comes your way after paying top dollar for your new property, I don’t recommend skipping a Boulder CO Home Inspection. I’m absolutely not suggesting you offer the highest price then nickel and dime the seller at inspection to get back some of the purchase price either. (Sellers are NOT stupid and they can see this tactic coming a mile away, FYI). In a competitive situation I am suggesting to my buyers that they retain the right to terminate if they find a deal breaker at inspection, but let the seller know up front that if no deal breaker is found, the buyer will be taking the house “as is”… Yes, that includes the small leak under the kitchen sink, the water heater on its last legs and the negative grading outside. As-is!
Top 5 Reasons for a Pre-Purchase Boulder CO Home Inspection
1. To discover safety issues
It is not uncommon for an inspector to discover hidden mold, high radon levels, lead based paint, gas leaks or carbon monoxide issues. Nothing that can’t be fixed… And should be, BEFORE you move the family in.
2. To identify big ticket items that need correcting, repairing or replacing – either immediately or in the next year or two
Wiring that needs updating, an old but functioning furnace and air conditioner, roof at the end of its useful life. They might be livable right now, but better to be educated and start saving for bigger improvements that will, at some point, become immediate needs.
3. To satisfy yourself that the property warrants your contract price
The seller may not know they have a cracked foundation until your inspector climbs into the crawl space or peers behind the 50 year old juniper bush outside. If they never knew about it, they couldn’t have accounted for it when determining the listing price. The buyer should bring in all the experts they need to, in order to determine the cost of the repair and whether it constitutes a deal breaker. (This doesn’t have to be the end of the deal and a good agent will have strategies and communication skills to help buyer and seller achieve what is in their best interests. Creativity, expert negotiation and emotional intelligence are crucial and in the best interests of my clients, will not be discussed here.)
True Story: I once had an inspector climb into the attic of an historic home in Erie, only to find there had been a house fire in the past. The rafters holding the roof up were burned to pencil thin and any roofing contractor who came to replace the roof (which needed it!) would have stopped work and called for a contractor to replace said rafters before continuing with new plywood and shingles. The fire had originated in the kitchen and the owners at the time had remodeled the kitchen and called it good…. Then they had sold it to the current owner, who’s inspection was a little less thorough and she was left holding the baby. My client terminated the contract to buy. It was too big a project for her to take on and way too expensive a fix, considering the purchase price.
4. To get to know your new property
An inspector will give you a 2 hour education about the place! Helping you understand where you can improve to save money on energy, small fixes and how much they will cost, location of the water shut off valves, even recommendations for service providers you could find useful in some cases.
5. Peace of mind
Let’s be honest… You ran through the condo at 5:15pm on a Wednesday… Along with two other buyers and their agents. By 10am the next morning you had submitted an offer to buy and gone under contract. Are you maybe wondering if it’s crazy to spend more time trying on a pair of shoes before you purchase them, than in the condo you just committed to spending a quarter of a million dollars for?! Of course you are! That’s normal. So during inspection, take some time to bond with your new home. Wander through each room and imagine yourself there. Take a few deep breaths and congratulate yourself on getting this far… It’s a competitive real estate market. 🙂