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The Most Costly Mistake Home Buyers Make Today

For most people, buying a used car is a harrowing experience. They kick the tires, look under the hood, and take the car out for a test drive. Depending on the price, condition and age of the vehicle, most prudent consumers will also take the car to their trusted neighborhood mechanic, to conduct a thorough inspection. This mechanic has no vested interest in whether or not the car sells. This mechanic is paid to provide an honest, impartial assessment based on his or her knowledge and years of experience.

If most consumers are careful when buying a $20,000 used car that they will own for only five or six years, why aren’t those same consumers extremely vigilant when purchasing a $200,000 home that they will live in for a lifetime? Believe it or not, in most home sales today, the home inspector is selected by the selling realtor, who has a financial interest in having the home sell. Unfortunately, most potential new homeowners play no role whatsoever in selecting their home inspector and in fact may not even spend 60 seconds doing an internet search for the home inspector selected by their realtor — to see if the inspector’s reviews are positive or even if he or she has any online reviews.

Living in north central West Virginia, we hear horror stories like this one all of the time: A home buyer relies on the realtor to select a quality home inspector and the home “passes” the inspection with only minor issues noted in a very short report. Within a short period after purchasing the home, the new homeowner discovers that the HVAC system is failing, the plumbing and electrical systems are poorly designed, the supports under the home are sagging and the roof needs to be replaced. The homeowner is faced with tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs!

Those same cautious consumers who routinely invest hours online researching a new refrigerator, a new car or even searching for their new home often won’t even spend one minute selecting or researching the professional who will inspect their potential new home. Instead of relying on a realtor with a financial interest to sell the home, a home buyer should do his or her due diligence and select a quality professional to thoroughly inspect the home. Not carefully selecting their home inspector is probably the single most costly mistake home buyers make today.

Home buyers, this one mistake may cost you tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs and years of “buyer’s remorse.”

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