Life is Inspections are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

—Forest Gump (paraphrased).

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

Why should a Buyer waste $300 or $400 inspecting a condo that doesn’t have a foundation, roof, or other structural elements?

Why not just apply roughly the same amount towards a home warranty, that will protect the Buyer in the event that something breaks?

Two reasons: 1) home warranties exclude preexisting conditions; and 2) to mangle paraphrase Forest Gump, you never know what an inspection is going to turn up, even in a condo that is updated and appears to be in pristine condition.

Limits of Seller Disclosure

So, I’ve seen condo inspections uncover stealth issues relating to windows, plumbing, or other condo features that no one suspected ” including the Seller.

Which is significant, because Sellers can only disclose problems they know about.

If they didn’t know about a problem ” and had no reason to know about it ” the Buyer is not going to be able to hold them responsible for it after they close.

P.S.: And yes, some Sellers suspect that ” surprise, surprise ” every Buyer’s inspector is going to find at least a couple hundred dollars of issues, presumably to justify their fee.

But in my experience, reputable inspectors don’t do that.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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