1. Other offers have been submitted on the property. In our market, that is not unusual and most clients don't want to invest the money for a home inspection until they are more certain their bid will be the successful one.
2. Where is the property in the short sale process? Sometimes, these sales can half a year to process and a home inspection done months earlier will likely need to be done again. Much can go wrong with a home over a few months--especially one that is vacant.
3. Consider making your offer subject to a satisfactory home inspection--if that is not already in the boilerplate of your offer. Then conduct the inspection when you have clarity as to whether your offer will be accepted or not.
Finally, take this advice with a grain of salt if your are married to a home inspector or have one in the family who will do said inspection as a favor.
Best wishes in finding a great home, in great condition--at a great price!
It certainly is possible to get a Home Inspection before making an offer. Just ask your Realtor to get permission from the Seller through their Realtor so you can gain access to the property. I personally think it is a great idea. We work in the Philadelphia PA market but your Realtor can help you with a home inspection company that is properly certified.
I think that for Short Sales and for "As-is" sales, particularly when you are a home owner looking to buy a potentially distressed property, getting a home inspection is a good idea. Many investors do not choose the inspections because they are skilled enough to get an idea of what the condition of the home is by their own personal review.
But remember, you are protected by the "contingency clauses" in the agreement of sale if you choose them. If you choose to elect an inspection in the contract, you can choose the time frame in which you will need to get the home inspection and make your decision to stay in the deal or back away with no harm or risk to your deposit.
Your Realtor can advise you in more detail. Just ask.
Find yourself an agent and have your agent talk to the listing agent about it. Good luck.
Terrence Charest, e-Pro