Today’s real estate market has prompted some homebuyers to opt for limited inspections in hopes of discovering any issues with a home without losing out in the bidding process. Limited inspections are known by various names such as walk and talk, partial inspection, abbreviated inspection, or in the case of one realtor I dealt with, an “express inspection.”
A walk and talk is probably the most commonly-encountered type of limited inspection and is just what the name suggests. The client, agent and home inspector walk around and through the house while the home inspector talks and points out issues. The buyer and agent can take photographs and make notes, but the home inspector typically does not provide any written report or photos. In the other types of limited inspections, the home inspector may elect to provide a written report and / or photographs. It all depends on the individual inspector and the location where he or she operates (some localities may require the inspector to provide a written report in all instances).
The walk and talk or limited inspection may seem like an attractive alternative because it generally costs less than a full inspection and there is a lower (perceived) likelihood of angering the seller. But there are some big drawbacks:
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in life. Having a full home inspection will give you the information you need to make a decision you and your family can live with.