The Risk of Waiving a Home Inspection

It is not uncommon for homebuyers to submit a purchase offer that’s contingent on a satisfactory home inspection.

These inspections aren’t required for a mortgage loan, but highly recommended because they provide clues about the condition of a home. A house might look pretty on the outside, yet need serious, costly repairs on the inside.

A home inspection is non-invasive. Therefore, a home inspector does not open up the walls. They will, however, inspect the home’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC system, as well as the roof, foundation, attic and other structures to identify possible areas of concern.

These inspections also include a check of the home’s appliances (stove, refrigerator, water heater) to make sure these items are in good working order.

But while a home inspection makes sense when buying a home, you may waive your right to an inspection.

In a seller’s market, some buyers choose to forgo an inspection if they’re competing with other bidders and wish to make their offer more attractive to sellers.

Buyers who offer less than the asking price sometimes waive the home inspection to get on a seller’s good side. Also, buyers who are purchasing a newer home may choose to forego an inspection if they feel it is unnecessary given the property’s young age.

But regardless of whether you’re purchasing a newer home or competing in a seller’s market, a home inspection serves your advantage. Here are two reasons why you shouldn’t waive one.

  1. You Can Avoid Costly Surprises

There’s no way to know the true condition of a property until you get a home inspection. These inspections are crucial for eliminating or minimizing surprise repairs after moving into a home. You’re able to learn what’s wrong with a property early, and after reviewing the inspection report, you can ask the home seller to make the needed repairs.

A homeowner doesn’t have to fix everything on the home inspection report. They may only agree to fix major items, at which point you can agree to tackle the inexpensive repairs after closing and moving in. Either way, you know what you’re getting into and you don’t have to guess about the condition of the home.

Inspections are also important because buying a new house involves many new expenses. It might take time to adjust to your new mortgage payment and higher utility costs. The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of money on repairs that were the responsibility of the previous owner.

  1. You Have an Opportunity to Walk Away

A home inspection also gives you an “out” if you feel that you’re walking into a potential money pit.

Depending on the extent of needed home repairs, the seller may not have the resources to tackle major issues listed on the home inspection report. If you submitted a purchase offer that was contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, you don’t have to proceed with the purchase if the house has too many problems.

In other words, if the home seller does not agree to certain repairs, you might be able to walk away from the entire deal without losing your earnest money deposit.