November 2004 (Palm Springs, Calif) –— The California Real Estate Inspection Association cautions homebuyers and homeowners to not allow anyone in the real estate transaction to advise against a professional home inspection because of a competitive real estate market.
It is a grave error for anyone to advise against an inspection. Every home has unrevealed defects awaiting discovery by a qualified home inspector. These might include mere functional problems, such as faulty plumbing or a defective roof. But there might also be major safety issues awaiting discovery inside the electric panel or within the furnace. Any party to the transaction who recommends against a home inspection is not representing the best interests of the home buyer and the home seller and may be subjecting themselves to potential liability.
Hot markets, the kinds that entice buyers to make rush-to-judgment offers, are emotionally driven environments in which the rush to buy can be an invitation to financial disaster and years of regret. It is gambling rather than investing.
There is no limit to the numbers and kinds of problems that can be discovered in the course of an accurate and competent home inspection. Therefore, the unseen problems you might acquire, just to meet the demands of a sellers' market, could saddle you with major repair costs not anticipated or budgeted at the time of your no-contingency offer.
The best approach to acquiring essential disclosure information without committing to a blind purchase is to make an offer that includes your right to have a home inspection for information purposes only, but without hinging the deal on the inspector's findings. This is a fully informed risk, taken with eyes wide open. In the event that the home inspection reveals problems so major as to eclipse the desirability of the property, you can still walk away from the deal. You might not recover your purchase deposit, but in some cases that would be a minor loss compared with the ache of a regretted acquisition. It should be remembered that a home inspection report is not a repair list for the seller. It is an information list for you, the buyer, to help you know what you are buying and to help you decide whether or not to proceed with the deal.
This real estate bulletin is brought to you be the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). To locate a qualified inspector near you click here, or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for home inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a comprehensive written examination of property systems and complete 30 hours of continuing education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances affecting the profession of real estate inspection. CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education.