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Trying Before Buying - The Importance of A Pre-Offer Inspection

It’s important not to rush into things. Imagine falling in love with your dream home so hard that you make the compulsive decision to close on it on a whim. Then upon re-entry, you discover a hidden door that leads to the underground gambling ring in your basement. You are now the owner of an illegal operation and you’re tied into a contract. All because you didn’t make a thorough pre-offer inspection of your home. 

 

This inspection should take place after the initial offer has been accepted by the sellers. The little known secret is that you can actually order one before submitting the offer. Your real estate agent can handle the paperwork and arrange an inspection upon request. There are pro’s and con’s however. 

 

“It can help ensure buyers that they are focusing on properties that fall within their requirements,” says Ruth Shin, founder and CEO of Brooklyn, NY-based PropertyNest

 

It would be a real shame to undergo an offer on a home that could end in a dilemma.

 

“A pre-offer inspection gives you the ability to discover issues with the home that make you hesitant to move forward with the purchase,” says George Beylouny, senior branch manager and construction specialist at Silverton Mortgage in Woodstock, GA.

 

When you purchase a home, you must understand in no uncertain terms the exact shape the home is in. You may totally change your mind about your dream home when you uncover an unfavorable quality hiding in the shadows. 

 

“If the interior walls and ceilings have visible water damage, or there are uneven floors, cracks, or other signs of potential structural or foundation issues, it could warrant getting those issues checked out upfront,” says Andrew Sacks, licensed real estate salesperson at Citi Habitats in New York. “Before you become emotionally invested in the property, you need to have those potential red flags investigated.”

 

But the inspection can allow you to submit a better offer for you. 

 

“You can make an offer that reflects the true condition of the home and takes into account any necessary work that needs to be performed,” says Sacks. He says that any negative findings will justify an offer below asking price.

 

As for the disadvantages of a pre-offer inspection, you may find that being a super sleuth may backfire. A seller may be turned off by having to schedule a time for an inspector to come in during this process. The overall experience can leave a sour taste in their mouth. 

 

“You will need to get permission from the seller before pursuing a pre-offer inspection, which may be difficult to obtain,” warns Beylouny.

 

“One risk of such a request is that the seller may go with another buyer who is prepared to make an offer without any preconditions,” says Beylouny.

 

So do you think a pre-inspection is worth it?

 

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    Director of Real Estate Sales
    Harding Realty, Inc.

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