16 Aug Should you trust an inspection report?
When it comes to buying houses, the inspection is often a turning point in the deal. An inspection report is meant to inform the buyers of any potential problems with a new house and thus it has a massive impact on the final selling price of the house and can lead to a prospective buyer walking out on the deal. When the market is competitive, however, it can be difficult to have an inspection done which can be trusted due to the many parties and thus many conflicts of interest involved.
In an ideal (for the buyers) world, the inspection would be performed by an independent agent hired by the buyer. This would mean the inspection would be completely free from any bias from the seller and the realtors involved and the buyer would receive an unbiased report from the inspector and the seller would strive to fix any issues uncovered. In the real world, however, this rarely happens and the inspection report is often a point of serious tension between all parties involved.
A seller will almost always prefer an offer that does not require an inspection. Thus in a seller’s market, the buyer might be lucky to have an inspection performed at all. Even if the seller is willing to perform an inspection, they may stipulate that they will be the ones to perform the inspection. This gives the seller the full ability to hire a new inspector if they don’t like the report given by another, potentially allowing them to selectively choose a report that reveals fewer issues. Though this behavior is definitely unethical and possibly illegal, it is still unfortunately quite common.
In addition, any prospective house buyer needs to be aware that any inspection performed by a realtor-recommended agent needs to be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of which realtor recommends the agent. Both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent will have one main priority, which is to move the sale along. This means that they won’t be particularly motivated to search out every potential problem in a house, and thus when they hire an inspector there is a chance important issues will be glossed over.
No matter what the case, any prospective home buyer needs to protect their own interests and be wary of inspection reports provided by any party other than an independent inspector. This might mean the buyer walks away from what seems to be a good deal, but doing your due diligence and having peace of mind is well worth the effort.