As a result of the hot housing market these past few years, potential buyers have often been in fierce competition with each other. Many have made offers tens of thousands of dollars over asking price, made all-cash offers, and waived the appraisal and/or home inspection contingencies to give them an edge in the seller’s market. As a home inspection company, we find the latter-most trend particularly troubling—but not just for business reasons. Let’s unpack why you shouldn’t waive a home inspection when purchasing a house.
What Does it Mean to Waive a Home Inspection?
First, let’s briefly explain what this means. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, most purchase contracts have a contingency allowing a specific time period during which the buyer can get the home inspected. If any issues are found, the prospective buyer can withdraw their offer and get all deposit money back. Ultimately, this standard home inspection contingency protects buyers from purchasing a property with serious, costly issues.
On the flip side, home inspections are perceived as a risk for sellers, because the inspection may reveal issues even they weren’t aware of (which they’ll now have to repair prior to closing), and it opens the floor for the buyer’s agent to renegotiate and get a lower purchase price. So, by waiving the inspection, the buyer agrees to make the purchase without getting it inspected by a professional first.
Reasons Not to Waive a Home Inspection
Aside from the fact that waiving a home inspection would likely eliminate a buyer’s ability to back out of a purchase and would take away a potential bargaining chip in price negotiations, there are a few other things to consider. Here are 4 more reasons not to waive a home inspection:
- Safety – A basic home inspection can detect safety issues like mold, carbon monoxide, and radon, all of which are hazardous to you and your family.
- Reveal Illegal Additions or Installations – A home inspector can tell whether rooms, altered garages, or basements were completed without a proper permit or didn’t follow code.
- Estimate Future Costs – Inspectors can approximate how old some of the home’s major systems and critical equipment are—including plumbing, HVAC, and water heaters. Everything in your home has a “shelf-life,” and by getting an understanding of when they’ll need replacement, you can better budget and prepare.
- Insurance – Some insurance companies won’t insure a home if certain conditions are found.
Now that you know the risks of waiving a home inspection, don’t rush to purchase a home without calling an experienced inspector first. Here at the Homeinex Corporation, we have 30-plus years of experience. Contact us now to get started.