I showed a property to some clients of mine a few weeks ago, a fixer-upper in the Parkdale area. We all agreed that the house had plenty of character but that it would potentially need plenty of work as well. There were 16+ offers on the table come offer night and it sold FIRM for more than $100,000 over asking. The thing to note here is that the property sold FIRM - no home inspection condition.
Shouldn't you always include a condition in your offer-to-purchase that allows for a home inspection?
I certainly wouldn't advise a client to make a purchase without having an inspection done. Reason being, there are sometimes underlying issues with a property that are not obvious to the untrained eye. Having a professional come in and spend a few hours doing a thorough inspection is crucial if the buyer is to make an informed decision.
This isn't to say that a buyer shouldn't move forward on a property just because the inspection report isn't perfect. Older homes are almost always going to have some issues (the boiler may be nearing the end of its life expectancy, there may be some dampness in the basement, etc). But having an inspection done will shed some light on what the potential issues are and the buyer can proceed accordingly.
Getting back to the house in Parkdale... Even though the property sold FIRM on offer night doesn't mean that a home inspection wasn't done. Any number of the 16+ potential buyers may have had an inspector come in at some point during the week that the property was on the market. This is actually quite common in a seller's market where offers are "held-off" until a specified date (generally a week-or-so after the property first comes on the market). I touched on this in a previous post, which you can read here.
In this way buyers still get the benefit of having a complete, thorough home inspection done prior to making a purchase without actually having to include a home inspection condition in their offer. The work is done ahead of time so that they can come to the table with a clean offer, thereby bettering their chances of getting the property.
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