The short answer is no. That is, if you want to take one of the biggest risks of your life.
Buying a house is no simple task, and it immediately becomes your biggest asset. And in the current market, many are opting to buy without first inspecting the property to give them a greater chance at winning against competing offer. However, without an inspection on the new place you are going to call home, you put not only your funds, but you and your family at risk as well. This brings us to a few questions that may be helpful as you think through this important question, should you waive a home inspection?
What is a home inspection? A home inspection is a visual evaluation of your property, that will help protect your financial interest in what will likely be the largest purchase you make in your life. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
- Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
- Things to “Monitor” that may lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
- Safety and health hazards, such as bad wiring or undetected mold.
- Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy or insure the home.
What is the value of a home inspection? Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. As you consider which home is right for you, it’s important to understand what you are getting at the time of purchase (a factual picture of the good, the bad, and everything in between) as well as the additional funds needed over the course of home ownership to keep your home safe and well-maintained. From costly repairs to dangerous elements that might be hiding in plain sight, you want to be sure that you are covered on all sides. Knowledge about how to maintain your home, as well as understanding how to budget for repairs, will give you confidence and peace of mind as you go through home ownership.
What is the risk of waiving a home inspection?
- An undetected safety or health hazard could go undetected in your home, putting you and/or your family at risk.
- You move in and soon find out there is a significant issue / repair that must be addressed. You used all your expendable cash on the offer and did not save funds to address the issue. The longer you wait to repair, the worse the issue can get.
Why would sellers want a buyer to waive the home inspection? Waiving the home inspection can be more attractive to sellers since there is less likelihood that buyers will find an expensive issue that they will demand is corrected before settlement.
Are there any other options that would help the seller say “yes” to my offer without having to waive my home inspection contingency? There are several options to consider. However, each of these options are unique and come with different considerations for the buyer and seller. They should not be taken lightly and can be discussed further with your realtor.
- The Home Inspection is for “informational purposes only”. In this option, the buyer’s intent is to have a home inspection without negotiating further prior to settlement for additional dollars off the agreed upon sales price. For example, you would still check the box for home inspection contingency in your agreement of sale, but your realtor would also add a sentence under special clauses, “Home inspection is mainly for FYI purposes only”.
- Home Inspection with a Cap on Repairs. With this option, the buyer still elects a home inspection, but includes a special clause. The clause includes a cap on the amount of money paid by the seller on major issues/repairs mentioned in the inspection report. For example, you would still check the box for home inspection contingency in your agreement of sale, but your realtor would also add a sentence under special clauses, “Buyer will only request major repairs or corrections found in the home inspection report not to exceed $5,000”.
- Shorten the length of your requested inspection period. This allows the seller to have greater confidence in moving the deal ahead quickly.
- Eliminate other contingencies in your offer or offer a larger, non-refundable binder deposit.
I’ve decided to waive the home inspection – are there any other options to give me peace of mind leading up to making an offer? Yes, Musselman Home Inspection now offers a Pre-Purchase Walk-and-Talk. Our inspection team member will join you during the showing appointment to review the major components of the home and any specific items of concern. The Pre-Purchase Walk & Talk service, while not a full inspection, will give you a better understanding of the property in question by having one of our team members walk through the showing with you and point out areas of concern.