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In Hot Market, Some Home Buyers Are Being Pressured To Purchase Without Professional Inspections -- And They're Getting Burned

COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (CBS) -- A hot real estate market is burning buyers, and some are skipping professional home inspections - with the goal of closing quick to avoid being outbid.

One woman in Country Club Hills shared her cautionary tale with CBS 2's Tim McNicholas.

There's a lot to love about Christie Van's new home - just not the fireplace.

"It's not vented correctly," Van said. "It's not connected to the chimney."

Both her fireplaces were non-functional – a fact she learned from a fire and chimney company after she closed on the house.

"I'm devastated, sir, because I'm looking at $40, 50,000 easy down," Van said. "Basically, I've got to take out the wall and make sure that these fireplaces are vented to the chimney."

Thorough home inspections are often done prior to closing. But Van says said already been outbid on four other homes.

"I could tell you it was a hot market," she said.

So with the pressure on, Van bought her home before the home inspection.

"They knew. She wants this house all means necessary. And shell do whatever it take to get it. And sir I was hit upside my head and I don't appreciate it."

John Wessling is president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. He said buyers being pressured to purchase homes before professional inspection is something he has been hearing about often - "especially the last two years in the hot market."

"The pressure is put on to the buyer to sign away or waive the right to inspections, or a lot of properties are being sold as is," Wessling said. "'As is' doesn't mean you can't have an inspection, necessarily, but the pressure is on to say, 'OK, highest bidder, fastest, no contingencies, no inspections.'"

Wessling's advice is always to make sure there is a thorough home inspection prior to closing.

When asked what his message would be to other buyers out there in this hot market," Wessling said, "Slow down. Slow down." Van

It's a lesson Van learned the hard way

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