If a real estate agent ever tells you to skip the home inspection. . .

A reader recently asked Inman News a complicated question about communal property in condominium associations, but what really caught my attention was this part:

Next, we have a home inspection question. When we bought our condo, our Realtor advised us not to hire a home inspector. She said that the areas in need of inspection were covered by the condo board.

I have put the offensive part of this question in bold, italics, and underlined it -- because I want all of our WalletPop readers to remember what I'm about to say: If a real estate agent ever advises you not to hire a home inspector, run away, find a new agent, and complain to the supervising broker at the agency where he/she is employed.

There are two reasons for this: You should always have a home inspection because it costs so little money (on the condo I recently purchased it was $200) and there are always problems that it could uncover in any unit: fire hazards, building code violations, mold, termites, and other things that might need repair -- and that you might be able to negotiate to have the seller pay for.

The risk/reward ratio of hiring a home inspector is so skewed in favor of caution that no real estate agent with his client's best interests at heart would ever suggest that you skip the home inspection.

The second reason you should fire the agent is that no agent with your best interests at heart would ever suggest that you skip a home inspection. A home inspection costs him nothing and protects him from a tremendous amount of liability.

If he advises you not to have the condo inspected and then you move in and it turns out the house has a defective Federal Pacific panel and it blows up and you suffer third-degree burns, guess who's going to get the crap sued out of him? The real estate agent and the broker charged with supervising him.

Only a real estate agent desperate for a quick buck would recommend that you skip an inspection -- and those are exactly the kind of agents you want to avoid. Always get a home inspection and hire anyone who tells you not to. You should also consider filing a complaint with the local board of Realtors.
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