By: Deidre Woollard
In hot markets full of multiple offers buyers are often tempted to do anything to get a home. One thing they should not do is forgo the home inspection.
For buyers, waiving the option to have a professional inspection contingent on their offer to purchase a home can have major repercussions in the long run. Sellers tend to like these offers because it essentially means they are selling the home ‘as is’ and are not responsible for any thing that is not immediately visible.
Without a licensed inspector viewing the property, the buyer can only comment on the things that they see that are potentially wrong with the home. The buyer essentially loses the right to make any requests for additional repairs that aren’t agreed to at the time of signing the initial purchase contract.
The argument for waiving inspection is often that in a seller’s market the seller can simply opt for one of the other offers waiting in the wings. If a buyer is purchasing a new home or is themselves a contractor or construction professional they may choose to waive the right to an inspection. While some states have disclosure laws that require a buyer to reveal any problems they are aware of, often sellers are unaware of potential looming problems. In some cases sellers will have an inspection done before putting the home up for sale
The buyer without an inspection loses the chance to have a professional overview of the home they are buying. Inspectors don’t just look at the home, they can provide an in-depth analysis that can spotlight not just current needed repairs but also things that may become a problem down the road. The roof might not need repair immediately but it makes a big difference to know if you will need to replace it within a year or two or not for much longer. Inspectors examine heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems for any signs of potential trouble.
Home inspection also increases buyer confidence. A 2012 survey from the American Society of Home Inspectors found that 88% of respondents say home inspections have increased their confidence about the condition of any property and 84% would be more likely to purchase a foreclosure or short sale property after a home inspection deemed it in good condition.
The bottom line is that waiving the inspection contingency is rarely worth the risk, particularly because it doesn’t guarantee a price discount in a strong market. A home inspection provides an extra level of security and helps you plan for the future in your new home.
Marcie Geffner contributed to this post.