In just about every circumstance we urge all of our homebuyers to never waive their chance to have a home inspection. You just don’t know the details about a property until you have that inspection, and even then, there could be issues that surfaced later on but at least the home inspection will tell you what you are not seeing on the surface level.
In hot markets across the country, homebuyers are waiving their home inspections in order to make their offer more attractive to sellers, but is this a good idea?
The home inspection tells a potential homebuyer as much about the property as possible without digging too deep. Most home inspectors will examine the basics of a home from the foundation and any pest damage to the roof including all appliances, outlets, wiring and plumbing. It can be very difficult to see on the surface what could be behind the walls or in hidden areas. A home inspector knows a little bit about every aspect of the house and may be specializing in one or two items such as a roof for foundation work. The inspector is not to be an alarmist but to give the buyer an unbiased, general scope of the condition of the property. It is then up to the buyer to decide whether or not they want to continue with the sale, ask for any repairs or replacements from the seller, or terminate the transaction. Nearly all contracts state that a buyer can walk away from the home if they are not satisfied with the home inspection. This is called a home inspection contingency. There are other contingencies that can be used in an offer as well, and the transaction cannot be completed in totals contingencies are satisfied. Other contingencies could be a neighborhood research contingency, the sale of the buyer’s property, a financing contingency, or other conditions that must be met before the deal can close. You can see that a seller would prefer an offer with fewer contingencies. The fewer contingencies or conditions a deal needs to have before closing, the more attractive it can be to a seller. But, is this a reason to waive the home inspection?
We often get this question with new construction. Buyers may think that there’s nothing wrong with the new construction home but this is not always the case. Builders and developers can cut corners, forget things, or even put in the wrong materials. We have found fireplaces with flammable material built right up against the glass and plumbing that was installed without the proper gauge of piping. It is imperative to have a home inspection even with new construction, and I would even say especially with new construction.
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With ever be a time to waive the home inspection? These situations are few and far between but it does happen. Unfortunately, if the buyer finds something wrong with the property after they have finalized the sale, they can no longer go back to the seller for compensation. The buyer had their chance to complete a home inspection and once they have signed off on it, is buyer beware.
In a hot market where buyers tend to lose out on deal after deal, it can be very tempting to make an offer without a home inspection, but we strongly discourage this. Each situation is unique and if you know you’re going to buy the property regardless of the home inspection report, and you know you have enough money to correct any issues that you might find after closing, waiting the home inspection might be a good way to get your offer accepted however, it is extremely risky and only in certain situations should it be considered.
So, I really didn’t answer the question as far as if you should waive the home inspection, but, every single situation is different and it really goes on a case-by-case basis. If you have lost out on every single offer you’ve put in and you are considering making an offer waiving the home inspection, let’s consider other potential incentives to include in the offer before going that route.