Why Home Buyers Shouldn’t Waive Property Inspections
Sometimes, in a hot sellers’ real estate market, buyers will agree to waive inspections. It’s one way to avoid losing out on a home when there’s a lot of competition. But it’s never a good idea. Here’s why home buyers shouldn’t waive property inspections.
Some problems aren’t easily visible
The typical buyer won’t be able to spot asbestos in a home. Nor will they see evidence of termite infestation, or a leak inside the HVAC system. Also, when you’re buying the house in the summer, you may go to turn on the heat in the fall, only to discover it won’t work. And the repair costs $20,000.
You can have a pre-sale inspection
If you love the home, have it inspected before you make an offer or sign a contract. Worst case scenario, you spend a few hundred dollars delving deeply into a home you don’t purchase. Better safe than sorry.
If you do inspect the home and it passes muster, then you can waive your inspection contingency because you’ve inspected already.
The seller may have the property inspected
Often, the seller will have the property inspected before listing. They do this so they can either iron out any issues in advance of listing or so buyers know upfront exactly what they’re getting. It protects the sellers from future negotiations and allows them to price the property correctly from the start.
The only issue is that the inspector is liable only to the person who paid for and ordered the inspection. That would be the seller. If that inspector missed something, you don’t have any recourse.
You can still have a brief inspection contingency
Often, there’s is a brief window of time between when offers are due and a deal starts to go forward. Sellers don’t want to lose momentum, particularly when there are multiple offers.
If your market moves fast and you need to get your offer in so quickly that there isn’t time to inspect, pre-schedule an inspection for a day or two out. If you work with a good local agent, they’ll have relationships with an inspector who will do that.
Writing a one- or two-day inspection contingency into your offer gives the seller comfort that they won’t lose momentum if you walk away. And in the meantime, you get peace of mind.
Bottom line: Don’t get caught up in the frenzy of a bidding war. If you’re getting frustrated, keep in mind the larger picture. You’re purchasing the biggest asset of your life. Markets change. And you don’t want to end up in a home you can’t afford or, even worse, can’t sell because of structural or engineering issues you missed—because you waived inspections.
For more, check out these earlier blog posts: