Spring is right around the corner and in the real estate industry, that means things are about to go bananas. As I’ve talked about before in this blog, inventory levels are low, and they aren’t going to rise anytime soon. The spring market is only getting busier, and this year will be no exception.
If you’re a seller, this is great news! 10 offers to choose from, all above asking price? Bring it on!
If you’re a buyer, it might feel a little like you’re preparing for battle. In a sense, you are. In a market that’s this competitive, you need to do your research and get ready to act fast. But acting fast doesn’t mean you need to jump at the first house you see, or make hasty decisions during the home buying process.
This mistake can take any number of forms, from paying too much to settling for a location that you don’t really find that desirable. But one of the biggest risks we often hear clients asking about is waiving an inspection.
It might be tempting to waive an inspection, but you need to be very careful. I’ve dealt with houses that are 100 years old and houses that are brand spanking new, and there’s no telling what issues can be hiding beneath the walls. If you’re in a tight bidding situation and are considering waiving an inspection, here are a few things I look out for. If I notice any of these issues, significant work will need to be done, and an inspection is the only way to gather the scope of that work.
Doors and Windows – They don’t lie. Do doors and windows sit unevenly in the wall? They are most likely “out of square”. This is a big sign that the house has settled unevenly and something may be wrong..
Floors – Walk the house and feel the floors. Do they rise in certain areas? Dip in others? Floors can be clues to foundation issues.
Brick – Are there cracks? Superficial cracks are not an immediate warning sign, but structural cracks are. They point to instability.
Tiles – Specifically, 9 inch tiles. If a home was built in the 1940s or 1950s and you see these, it’s a tell tale sign that asbestos is likely present as well.
Chimney – Is it straight? Leaning to one side? A crooked chimney can be a sign of deeper structural issues.
Houses speak to you. Take a good long walk through your potential home and look for the clues. While there is no substitute for a trained professional, this can help you decide how much of a risk it would be to waive an inspection.
I know this busy market is stressful, and you want to do everything you can to make your offer enticing to the sellers. There are plenty of ways to make sure you’re competitive in this market, and I can help you utilize them all. Balancing risk and reward is key to that process.