Unlike other areas of the state and country, a number of townships and boroughs in Southeastern Pennsylvania require point-of-sale (POS) home inspections. These inspections, which vary in scope depending on which community you live in, can add thousands of dollars in expenses to a real estate transaction. Depending on the circumstances of the sale, these expenses can be forced on the home owner or home buyer.
Here are a few of the reasons why point-of-sale inspections don’t make sense:
1) Point-of-sale transactions are inadequate to address
Only a small percentage of homes in southeastern Pennsylvania are sold each year. As the index of home sales on this page demonstrates, correcting serious code violations only at the point-of-sale would take many decades to accomplish in most municipalities.
2) Municipal inspections introduce more bureaucratic red tape.
Guidelines for municipal POS inspections can be complex, and can require many steps to be completed by home sellers in a short time-frame. The requirements for the inspections are not uniform among municipalities, and sometimes lead to situations in which township and borough code inspectors demand expensive seller, and or buyer repairs under timelines that are more stringent than required by state law.
3) The system is duplicative of private home inspections.
The vast majority of home buyers order a private inspection prior to agreeing to purchase a home. These inspections, which must comply with the Pennsylvania Residential Real Estate Transfers Law, are very thorough and result in a list of issues that are traditionally negotiated by the buyer and seller.