When you are trying to make your home offer as attractive as possible, skipping the inspection might seem like a good idea. If you are buying a home in a competitive market and your offers keep getting beaten, you might be tempted to resort to desperate measures. In addition to offering over asking price or a quick closing, some home buyers agree to waive home inspections.
But this is never a good idea. The home may look alright to the naked eye, but it is what’s beyond the surface. Items that you can’t identify as problematic can cause the biggest issues.
For instance, the typical home buyer won’t be able to spot asbestos, nor will they see evidence of a leak inside the HVAC system or termite infestation.
No matter how badly you want the home or how emotionally attached you are to it, you don’t want to purchase a home without having it thoroughly inspected. You will kick yourself when you go to turn the heat on and realize it doesn’t function properly.
When you are in the thick of a bidding war or in your ninth month of searching for homes, you may not be able to see or think clearly. Don’t get caught up in the chaos. Waiving an inspection can cost you a fortune later on. Here are some alternative solutions to satisfy your need to inspect a home, while still remaining competitive.
The pre-sale inspection
If you love the property, inspect it before you make an offer or sign a contract. The worst case scenario is spending a few hundred dollars delving deeply into a home you didn’t purchase. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Oftentimes, the seller will have the property inspected before listing it. They do this so that they can iron out any issues before listing. This protects the sellers from future negotiations and allows them to correctly price the property initially.
The only issue is that the inspector is liable only to the party who paid for and ordered the inspection. This is the seller. If the inspector missed something, you do not have any recourse.
Oftentimes there is a small window of time between when offers are due and when a deal starts to go forward. Sellers do not want to lose momentum when there are multiple offers being made.
If the market moves quickly and you need to get your offer in so fast that there isn’t time for an inspection, you should pre-schedule an inspection for a day or two out. If you work with a good local real estate agent, they will have relationships with an inspector who can do that.
Writing a one or two-day inspection contingency into your offer will give the seller comfort that they will not lose momentum if you walk away. You will get peace of mind in the meantime.
Make sure not to get caught up in the drama of a bidding war. If you are getting frustrated, keep the larger picture in mind. You are buying the biggest asset of your life. Housing markets change and you don’t want to find yourself in a home you can’t afford or can’t sell because of engineering or structural issues you missed by waiving inspections.