Should We Do A Preinspection?

house_inspectedI’m not a huge fan of waiving home inspections, even if you’re a very handy buyer. You never know what you’ll find once you start taking off the electrical panel, going up in the attic, looking in the chimney, or going on the roof. You just can’t always tell what’s behind door #3….

The Arlington housing market is still very cut throat with buyers waiving all contingencies, using escalation clauses to go well above list price, offering free rentbacks, and so many other “add ons” to “win” the bidding war. A trend that was big in DC and has now moved its way into Northern Virginia is called a Pre-Inspection.

With permission from the seller, you can do a full home inspection on the property before you submit an offer, allowing you to:

  1. Find out the condition of the property, including any necessary or recommended repairs
  2. Waive the inspection contingency
  3. Factor any repairs into your offer price
  4. Rule it out completely

What you have to gain in most cases outweighs what you have to lose. If you don’t win, you’ll be out the time and money you spent on the inspection. However, I think losing a few hundred dollars is much better than potentially buying a house that needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs and not knowing it.

It’s a tight turn around if there are multiple offers, usually just a few days after it goes on the market, so you need a quick thinking and acting Realtor to get everything setup with time for you to look over the results and decide if you want to pursue it or not.