Should I Get a Home Inspection when Buying ‘As Is’?
When sellers choose to go through the process without an agent, they often choose to sell ‘as is’ so they don’t have to spend money fixing any problems or taking blame for potential defects. From the buyer’s perspective, there is absolutely nothing wrong in buying a property ‘as is’ and you can normally get a good price. However, the role of the inspector becomes somewhat more important and there are a number of reasons as to why.
Firstly, ‘as is’ is a very loose term and more often than not the seller will decide the definition of the term. After taking a first look, you will get a general idea for the condition of the property and you may even notice some repairs that are required but you will not get a detailed review of everything that needs attention. Nowadays, home inspectors are fully-trained to a high standard and have experience so know where they should be looking. For example, the InterNACHI Residential Standards of Practice must be met by all InterNACHI inspectors and this applies to the roof, foundation, fireplace, exterior, interior, basement, attic, doors, windows, ventilation, insulation, electrical systems, cooling system, plumbing system, and heating system. Once you have this report, you then get an idea of the seller’s idea of ‘as is’. Then, you can make an informed decision as to whether the purchase will be worthwhile.
Secondly, sellers may have to provide you with a disclosure on the condition of the property depending on the state laws. However, whilst some provide the minimum information required some have been known to lie. By hiring a professional inspector, you can ensure that all missing information is found. If the seller has concealed many issues, you can back away from the transaction safe in the knowledge that you did your due diligence.
Thirdly, home inspectors can also help if you have bought a home to then find defects that you didn’t have checked beforehand. After buying an ‘as is’ property and finding issues, the inspector can assess the seller’s disclosure and testify regarding what the seller knew. If the seller concealed defects or misrepresented their home, they will be liable for this and all may not be lost. However, this scenario alone shows why you should be hiring a home inspector before entering negotiations with the seller.