One aspect of the real estate industry that is becoming more common is sellers ordering pre-sale home inspections that buyers can review prior to making an offer. This is to avoid re-negotiations if the home inspection reveals problems that were not disclosed before the buyer made an offer. Some buyers are unsure if they are able to trust inspections ordered by the seller because they are worried they can be inaccurate This depends on how recent the inspection was performed and how complete the inspection is and how reliable the inspector is. Ask your real estate professional if they have any experience with this inspector and whether they have had any past clients use them. See if you can speak with them regarding the inspector reputability.
Inspectors that are relatively unknown to the local real estate community including inspectors from out of the area should have their reports viewed with caution. They may be unaware of local problems like landslides that can have an impact on the property.
Often home inspectors will recommend that further inspections are done for specific causes performed by professionals like roofers, plumbers, electricians, drainage contractors, or engineers. Sellers who have pre-sale inspections are unlikely to have such specialized inspections performed on their home. Furthermore, if a home inspector recommends additional inspections, it is difficult to ascertain solely by the written report if they are making this recommendation because they have detected problem areas or whether they are just covering their bases as way to limit their liability.
Many home inspection reports have a disclaimer that they are not to be relied on by any other parties which if ordered by the seller, is saying the report cannot be relied on by the buyer. Try to talk directly to the home inspector or consult with a real estate attorney to see what exactly the liability would be if there were any defects overlooked.
Even if the seller has had a pre-sale inspection, you should include a inspection contingency as part of your offer. If the market is competitive buyers will choose to rely on the sellers report and forego the inspection contingency because in a sellers market overbidding is common and the seller will have many other offers to choose from. This can be risky, however, if the inspector is reputable and the inspection report complete the risk is minimal. Knowledgeable and experienced homeowners further limit their risk because they are more prepared to assess the cost of repairs without estimates from the seller.
If you are a buyer who does not have a lot of experience, talk to your real estate agent to ensure that a inspection contingency is included in your offer. Here at IMAX Premier we know what strategies to utilize that will improve your chances of having your offer accepted even while other buyers are making offers without such a contingency. Consider including in your inspection contingency that you are willing to pay for any previously unknown repairs up to a certain amount. This reassures the buyer that you are serious and will not back out of the transaction because of minor defects uncovered in your inspection.