Is it a good idea to waive home inspections?

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Real Estate

Competitive Market Home Inspection Contingencies

A home inspection is a standard procedure when it comes to buying a home.  Its purpose is to identify major issues with the home that the home- owner has not disclosed (because they were unaware of them).  It's meant to be a review of the physical, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems of the home as well as uncover any wood boring insect.  An inspector must be licensed, and a good inspector will point out a lot of the details of the home and may even teach you about some maintenance of the systems.  This step is so valuable especially for a first-time home buyer. An inspection report will point out things that are priority and or safety concerns that need immediate attention as well as nice to have repairs that should be taken care of over-time, as well as general maintenance tips for your home. 

It is so important as a buyer to be present for the inspection or have your agent there to bounce off ideas and ask questions on your behalf.  The inspector will provide a wealth of knowledge to you on the systems in your home and allow you to ask and learn about the home you are about to buy.  Don't forget to bring along a note pad and jot down some notes for your future furniture placement and have a tape measure on hand to determine whether you couch will fit or if you need to sell off some of your furniture before you move in.  Speaking of furniture, please remember that you should buy your home for whether it meets your wants and needs and not if it fits your furniture.  Furniture is a lot less expensive and can be replaced unless it's a family heirloom!

Some inspectors arrive earlier than the scheduled time to review the roof (some have drones) as well as exterior and will be ready to share some of those findings with you as you arrive.  Expect an inspection to take 2-4 hours depending on the size of the home and the cost can be $400-$600 just for the inspection.  If you are purchasing a condominium the expense is less and if you are purchasing a multi-family the cost is higher. Other inspections such as radon, lead, septic system, well tests are at an additional expense. 

The home inspection is considered a contingency.  That means that the purchase of the home is dependent on the home inspection. Sellers of course would love to have this contingency eliminated so that they are not out of pocket for any repair expenses and can pull more profit out of the sale of their home.  So, what should you do in a competitive market where there are few homes and ton of buyers? The cleaner the offer the better the chances of you getting the home you want.  Remember for the seller it isn't just about the highest sale price for a home, sometimes it’s about the least amount of hassle.  This is especially important when it's an inherited home and the seller doesn't have much information about the home because he/she has not lived in it.   Some clients choose to waive inspections.  I don't recommend this. Rather, I recommend that they use the inspection for informational purposes and not ask the seller for repair expenses.  If you are comfortable, you may also consider offering a cap dollar amount on repairs when making your offer.  Every situation is different, and together we need to be as strategic as possible when making an offer on a home.  When we work on making your offer on a home, it's important for us to understand the seller's motivation and hot buttons and temper that with your needs as a buyer to put forth the most competitive offer that gets you the home!