Do I need a home inspection if it's being sold "as is"?

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

I return comment for comment.Just because a home is being sold "as is" -- which is often the case with many foreclosures and short sales since the banks don't want to spend any more money on them -- doesn't mean that you don't need a home inspection on the home.

On the contrary, the mere fact that the home IS being sold "as is" means that it's more important than ever that you get a home inspection so that you'll know just exactly what you might be getting into.

Remember that when people get into financial troubles for whatever reason, regular home maintenance is one of the first things that suffers. So with a foreclosure process that can take many months here in San Diego County -- and up to a year in some cases -- and with people continuing to live in the home for many months while they are in fnancial trouble, it's possible for many things to have fallen apart, fallen into disrepair, or been damaged.

Bank buildingThe bank does not send anyone out to inspect the property, so any damage noted by the bank is simply going to be that which is obvious, and you can see that same damage when you walk through the house. It's the more subtle damage, the more subtle wear and tear, the hidden things that you need to know about, and that's where your home inspector comes in.

Your home inspector will inspect the roof, the attic, the foundation, walls, ceilings, floors, appliances, and much more to make sure that you are fully aware of any problems the house has. Even though you might be getting a bargain with a foreclosure or a short sale, a failure to understand the true condition of the property can result in any savings being eaten up by a money pit, and that's not what you want.

If you need help buying or selling a home in San Diego County, give me a call. I'll help you meet your needs, wants, and goals for your new home.

If you need a thorough home inspection on your property anywhere in Southern California's eleven counties, give Russel Ray a call. He's been in real estate for over 40 years and is a member of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the nation's largest and best home inspector trade association. He was born and raised in Texas, so in addition to a great home inspection, you'll also get some Southern hospitality.

Tell Russel that Jim Frimmer sent you.

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Keller Williams Realty Partners SW - Cooper City, FL
Selling Broward County Homes with Passion!

I would never sell a home without an inspection.  The $200-$300 for a home inspection is money well-spent.

Feb 07, 2009 02:01 PM #1
Jeffrey Worden
Tradition Roofing and Exteriors - Saint Paul, MN


I agree completely

I am involved in buying bank owned properties

There is no better way to find out what additional work a house will need, than to have an inspection.

then we have our trades people come in and give us bids on the work found by the inspector


Feb 07, 2009 02:09 PM #2
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC
BROKER, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Wilmington NC Homes an

You are right again Jim - the home inspection is required for almost every sale....good observation, though...

Feb 07, 2009 02:09 PM #3
Kat Vallish
The DeFee Team, Keller Williams Realty Traditions - Stockbridge, GA
Lake Spivey/Henry Co Georgia Real Estate

As-Is is a little misleading.  There are a couple of ways to get banks to fix things that are wrong with a property. 

1.  If a buyer is getting an FHA or VA loan that the seller has agreed to via seller signed exhibit, the seller will make any repairs that are required by the lender to meet FHA and VA requirements.

2.  Amendment to Address concerns.  If there are items that come up in the inspection report or via buyer inspection, you can address these items in an amendment in one of two ways, asking the seller to repair or replace items (bids attached), or ask the seller to reduce the price of property to a particular amount.  Adding a stipulation that if seller does not agree with said amendment, the agreement is void.  

Never be afraid to ask the seller for items that are important to the well functioning of the home, ie replace missing compressor and ensure in good working order at time of closing.  Same goes for plumbing, hot water heater, heating system, or a structural defect.  

The neither the seller or listing agent has lived in the property.  Besides an initial inspection, the listing agent has not spent a lot of time at the property.  

I recommend that all buyers get a home inspection, no matter what type of property they are buying, unless they have the ability to inspect the home themselves.  

Kat Vallish

Keller Williams Realty Traditions

South Metro Atlanta

Feb 07, 2009 02:34 PM #4
Lisa Southern
Lisa Southern Real Estate - Raleigh, NC
Lisa Southern Real Estate


Great post. As-is is becoming quite common here in NC. My advice to my clients....we still need to know what "AS-IS" is! I think before long everything will be "AS IS".

Feb 07, 2009 02:54 PM #5
real estate real estate
Providence, RI

Jim, while I agree with you inspection is needed for As-is, I also believe we should never sell an As-is property. It is not that difficult to find out all the problems. Why just list all the problems and have an honest listing in stead of listing. But most realtors have been getting used to As Is listings.

Feb 07, 2009 03:05 PM #6
Steve Zarry
House Buying Now - Austin, TX
Austin Central Texas, Real Estate

You're right, a home inspection is a must when buying any home. There can be many "hidden" problems in a home that looks cosmetically good. Hiring a qualified home inspector can help find those hidden problems before a buyer commits to the purchase.

Feb 07, 2009 03:12 PM #7
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Jim, inspecting bank owned properties for investors is the bulk of my work.  From short (major system) surveys to full inspections anyone skipping this step in the purchase of a property is being foolish.

Feb 07, 2009 03:18 PM #8
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

All homes in our area are sold "as is".

When a buyer clients offers to purchase a home I recommend a home inspection to find out what the "as is" condition truly is.

Feb 07, 2009 09:31 PM #9
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Jim:

I always recommend a buyer getting a home inspection.  They need to know what they're getting into!

Feb 08, 2009 12:00 AM #10
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

I have seen that some Realtors selling foreclosures are having them inspected prior to submitting an offer.  This is a risk because they may not get the home but if the client is truly interested in purchasing they will be so informed on the front end of negotiations.   Some lenders will not honor discussion on repairs that were unknown after the contract has be accepted and the buyer is left to decide weather to purchase or not because of the impact on the pocketbook.  Great reminder and as always, a wonderful informative post.  Thanks Jim!

Feb 08, 2009 04:02 AM #11
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Jim, very important points. Also, homes were in seemingly "good" condition when they were occupied can develop all kinds of problems after they have been standing vacant for a period of time. Saving on the home inspection is saving at the wrong end in my opinion.

Feb 08, 2009 11:54 AM #12
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

"Saving $300-$500 by refusing an inspection is being penny wise and pound foolish. Buyers should always have an inspection so they know what they are buying.

Feb 10, 2009 01:29 AM #13
494,722 ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals - Dallas, TX

Even seasoned veterans obtain inspections, it can be costly if you dont ! Have a great and successful week

Feb 11, 2009 02:10 AM #14
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

You are right Jim. A home inspection is important. At least this way, the buyer knows what they are getting.

Feb 11, 2009 09:48 AM #15
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

I always tell people that a home inspection is the most important insurance policy they will buy when purchasing a home. If you own a car and can't pay the payments are you going to get an oil change?

Now what about a house where you can't pay the payments? Are you going to repair the small leak in the roof or under the sink?

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home -

Feb 11, 2009 06:00 PM #16
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services - Saint Clair Shores, MI

You want to know if "as is" is at least good enough for you. Do the inspection!!

Feb 28, 2009 01:43 PM #17
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Jim Frimmer

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