The timing of an article in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel and a recent conversation I had with some inspector friends of mine seemed too coincidental to escape my attention.
Two times a month I attend meetings of professional home inspector organizations I belong to. Specifically they are the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors (WAHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). During dinner it’s common to talk about unique situations we’ve encountered, new trends we are seeing and the general state of business for each of us. At the last meeting, the subject of a slowing real estate market came up. Although not all of us are realizing a change in demand for home inspections, some are. Everyone at my table had an opinion as to why, but an article I would soon read explained it very well.
The article referred to the most basic business principle there is – supply and demand. It explained how “starter homes” and “down size homes” were in short supply. These homes, categorized as homes costing $300,000.00 or less, are being sold very quickly; usually within a day or two of being listed. Furthermore, the short supply is causing buyers to offer more than asking price and make concessions to entice sellers.
There it was. Buyers in this market are making concessions, and it may be impacting the contingencies that were part of a standard offer to purchase. How many sellers would prefer an offer that does not include their appliances, or does not ask them to fix the roof, or does not contain any contingencies that may slow down the selling process…….like inspection contingencies?
Being a home inspector, I have a strong opinion on this; but it may not be what you think.
Not everyone needs a home inspection. There are people who are knowledgeable about the systems and components of a home. They may be perfectly capable of thoroughly inspecting a property and arriving at an opinion of its condition. And let’s face it, home inspectors are generalists who are not necessarily experts on any specific component or system.
Most people however, are not familiar with the inner workings of a home. They don’t have the training or experience to understand the deficiencies that may be present. They may not be able to remove the emotion they feel, or the vision they’ve imagined in order to make a wise decision. They may oversee the visual clues that scream “take a deeper look”.
The article concludes that over time, the supply problem should correct itself. In the meantime, remember that patience is a virtue – just ask my wife.