Do you need a home inspection? Signs point to YES.
7 reasons why your Agreement of Sale should include an inspection contingency.
An inspection contingency gives the buyer the right to have the property inspected by a professional home inspector within a specified time period, ten days in PA unless otherwise specified. Ultimately, whether or not to include a home inspection contingency in an Agreement of Sale is solely at the discretion of the buyer. A lot of buyers are wary of including contingencies that could put off the seller, but I would never recommend a purchase without an inspection. Why?
Well, purchasing a home without an inspection is much like asking an 8-ball if you should buy the house. You're taking on the risk without having all the information. There are a lot of factors and conditions that you may miss, and when it comes to such a huge investment you don't want to be caught off guard later. A home inspection makes sure that you are aware of most potential problems you could run into in your new home. Even if the inspector tells you, "Outlook not so good," forewarned is forearmed! Below are 7 reasons to include the inspection contingency.
Safety. A home inspection will identify issues such as mold, radon, and carbon monoxide. If any of these issues are present, they have the potential to cause serious health harm to you, your family, and your pets. Be sure that your contingency includes the right options for you. You may choose to simply cancel your offer, or you could request seller mitigation.
Improper Construction. The inspection will uncover whether any additions or other improvements were completed without the proper permitting. Illegal room additions can affect your taxes, insurance and value. In particular, if you uncover an illegal room addition where the construction did not meet code (or even if it does), the county could require you fix all known issues or simply remove the addition at your expense.
"As-is" or FSBO. These cases it is particularly important to insist on a home inspection. You may find that the house has been cannibalized for anything that could be re-sold (copper pipes and appliances) or that there are large undisclosed mold issues. FSBO do not use Realtors who are bound by a code of ethics to disclose all known issues with the home.
Future Maintenance. Home inspectors can identify the age and condition of existing systems like plumbing, HVAC, water heaters and roofs. This will help you to know if you may have large expenditures in your immediate future.
Insurance. Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found. Qualified home inspectors can include these conditions in the report that can be used with insurance companies, saving you time and money.
Negotiations. A home inspection report gives you the opportunity to ask for repairs or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your Realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal.
GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card. The home inspection should reveal important details about the condition of a home and its systems. You can go into the sale aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and in the near future. If you aren't comfortable with the findings of the home inspection, this gives you the ability to back out of the offer.