In hot markets, some buyers are tempted to sweeten their offer by waiving the home inspection. Other buyers might be antsy to close on their new property and move in as soon as possible.
But, what are the consequences of waiving a home inspection? Keep reading to learn about what happens when you opt out of a thorough inspection, and why you may want to reconsider.
Your inspector is an expert in all things home-related
Houses are complicated, and there’s a strong likelihood you aren’t an expert in home foundations, HVAC, plumbing, roofing and everything else that goes into building a habitable structure.
A licensed home inspector is an expert in these things. They’re typically veterans of the construction industry and are familiar with all the nitty gritty details. They’ll crawl into attics, check if that 30-year old electrical system is safe, look for telltale signs of structural issues and a whole lot more.
Simply put, the inspector will look out for things that you didn’t even know could be an issue.
Home inspections are a useful negotiating tool
If the roof needs to be replaced in two years, your inspector will notice. They’ll even include the tiniest details in their report, including inexpensive and relatively minor issues, like broken screens and other inexpensive cosmetic fixes.
You can use the information in the inspection report to knock a significant chunk of money off the purchase price. Those savings will come in handy if you have to make major repairs or replacements.
If you don’t like the inspection report, walk away
If your inspection report comes back with a laundry list of costly issues, it also provides an opportunity for you to walk away from the property. Most purchase offers are submitted with contingencies, including a satisfactory home inspection.
If you don’t want to tackle the repairs that are needed, or if the seller won’t agree to fix them, you can walk away from the deal without losing the earnest money you put down as a deposit. You don’t have this same protection when waiving the house inspection, and walking away from a bad deal can be incredibly difficult (or virtually impossible).
If you still want to waive the inspection, try this instead
If you still want a bargaining chip to win over the seller, try another contingency with less risk: a general inspection. You can still revoke an offer if something concerning is discovered, but won’t be able to ask the seller to make repairs.
What to expect during the home inspection
To learn more about home inspections, we highly recommend this quick read: What You Need to Know About Home Inspections. From how long the inspection takes, to helpful information about using your home inspection to negotiate better pricing, it’s a useful guide that will put your mind at ease.
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