Should I Waive My Home Inspection When Buying A House?

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Re/Max Realty Group

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Should I Have A Home Inspection When Buying A House
Should I Have A Home Inspection When Buying A House

Buying a home is a significant investment and one you want to be happy with. It can be hard to wait for all the documents to be processed and while the various steps are being taken.

However, they are in place to protect you from a home buying nightmare. One of them is the home inspection, and it’s not a great idea to waive it.

The reality is that some homebuyers are waiving their home inspection.  Yes, they save money by not getting the home inspection done. Yes, they move the home buying process along faster.

While that is all understood, going this route can cause plenty of regrets. The home of your dreams may have some serious problems. They can be expensive to take care of, putting a huge hit on your finances.

There are many reasons to have a home inspection when buying a house. In this article you’ll find lots of helpful information pertaining to home inspections and hopefully enough information to help you answer the question, “should I waive my home inspection when buying a house?

Majority Rules

If able, and in most cases, it’s better to be patient and have peace of mind with a completed home inspection rather than waiving it when buying a home. The cost is worth the investment to make sure your home doesn’t have structural damage, electrical issues, or even a pest problem.

The home inspection should be done by a qualified inspector.  There are many great questions that you can ask potential home inspectors, prior to hiring them!

One common exception to making your offer contingent on getting a home inspection is if the seller has recently had such an inspection done. Sometimes they will do so before putting a home on the market so there aren’t any issues when they get an offer on it.

Never assume a newer home can’t have any issues. When such homes aren’t very old, it can give potential buyers a false sense of security with the purchase. They believe the home inspection isn’t necessary because everything is fairly new. This isn’t always the case though.

Structural problems or pest problems can be an issue, even in newly built homes. If the contractor cut corners when the home was built, there can be underlying issues.

Supply and Demand – Know The Condition Of Your Local Real Estate Market

Understand The Supply Of Homes Vs. The Demand Of Homes
Understand The Supply Of Homes Vs. The Demand Of Homes

In some locations, the supply of available homes is very small compared to the demand. This puts potential buyers in a serious dilemma.

Do they waive the home inspection so their offer is accepted by the seller?

Do they hold out for the inspection or allow someone else to take the home first?

If another buyer puts in an offer and they will waive that inspection, the house could be sold to them.

It doesn’t seem fair, but that is happening in many locations, including the Rochester NY real estate market. Some potential buyers are exhausted and frustrated with this.

They have put in offers on several homes and all of them were purchased by others who were willing to waive the home inspection. It makes the home buying process difficult. It puts them in a position where they feel they may have to take that risk to finally close on a home!

An inspection can be an eye-opener though, and it can help with the final decision on a place. Not all sellers are ethical in their behaviors either. They may or may not know if there are issues with their home and potentially may not disclose them.

When a home seller gets an offer that doesn’t have a home inspection contingency to complete the sale, they often jump on it. They are going to hold that buyer accountable because of the contract they signed.

They don’t care the new owner will find out later on they have some costly repairs to take care of. If you are both willing and able to cover expensive repairs to a home, you may be willing to forgo the inspection to get the home you want.

Short Timeframe for the Inspection to be Completed

In other situations, the timeframe to complete the inspection when buying a home is very short. It may be only a week. It may be impossible to get someone qualified to complete a home inspection to do it in that short amount of time.

Home inspectors may have other commitments on their schedule. Keep in mind, inspectors also need time to complete their detailed report too. In this type of situation, a home buyer may feel if they don’t waive their inspection, they will lose the chance to purchase the home they want.

Due to COVID-19, many home inspections couldn’t be done due to the virus. This put buyers and sellers in limbo to get the transaction done. Some buyers decided to waive the inspection as they needed to get into the home.

They may have already sold their existing home or their lease on a rental was going to expire. While the restrictions have been modified due to COVID-19, many home inspectors still have a backlog.

Home inspectors now also have to take extra precautions for overall safety when they go to any home. Some of these changes mean potential buyers can no longer be at the inspection either. The fewer people there the safer it is.

The inspector will be as detailed as possible on the report to share information, but it is different from being able to show a potential buyer the issue as the inspection takes place. To offset this change, many home inspectors will also take photos of their concerns. They can share them with the report to fully disclose their findings.

Ask & Trust Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent is there to guide you and answer any questions you have about the home buying process. This is one of the top reasons to hire a buyers agent when buying a house!

Your real estate agent wants you to be thrilled with the new home and not have any worries when you move in. They can help you address issues relating to a home inspection. They may have some contacts with inspectors in the area. They can reach out to see if anyone can complete an inspection in a hurry.

The inspector may have a cancelation or be able to add one more to the list once the real estate agent shares the scenario. That isn’t always going to happen but it is worth looking into. Sometimes, the agent can get the contract amended and give you more time to get the home inspection done. As long as all parties involved are willing to agree to it, there won’t be an issue.

For those running into the problem again and again, the agent may point you in the direction of homes where the seller has had the inspection done recently. This information can be used rather than getting a second inspection completed in a short amount of time. This will limit the homes available to you though because not all sellers are getting them done.

Your agent is going to help you word the contract correctly to cover yourself. They don’t want you to be obligated to a home that has issues. They don’t want you to lose your earnest money deposit either. The reality is you have to walk away from a home you were in love with if you cannot overcome objections from the home inspection.

Even so, listen to the recommendations of your real estate agent, they are sharing information to help you in the long run. Try to keep your emotions out of when it comes to home buying. Focus on logic and the facts you have. Emotional buying makes it hard to give up a home, but sometimes the risk is just too great if the inspection isn’t going to happen.

When a home inspection is completed, your agent can go through the home inspector’s report with you. They will give you feedback and answer questions. They can give you advice on common home inspection problems that you may want to ask to be corrected or help you try to negotiate a better offer based on those details.

Common Home Inspection Issues Identified During A Home Inspection

Identify Common Home Inspection Issues
Identify Common Home Inspection Issues

It is always best to find a solution to ensure the home inspection is done. An inspector knows what to look for. They are going to notice anything serious that may have been overlooked as you went through the home.

One of the most serious issues found during home inspections is shifting or other issues with the foundation. It can cost thousands of dollars for a home to be corrected, and that comes out of your pocket if you waive that inspection and find out after closing.

The process isn’t easy and takes precision. A professional is going to require payment for the work at the time it is done. They have to use heavy equipment, and the home may not be livable while the work is done. If you ignore such an issue, the foundation problem can get worse and worse. The home may not be fixable once it gets to a certain point.

Electrical or wiring issues can also be a common problem found with home inspections. All outlets should have safety switches built into them. Older wiring in a home increases the risk of an electrical fire. This can put your family at risk as well as your home being damaged or destroyed.

The home inspection offers you a level of protection. Should there be major issues, you can decide to bypass the home. You won’t be legally obligated to purchase if the inspection shows there are problems with the home. It is a good idea to review the inspection report and decide how you would like to proceed from there.

Know The Cost of Repairs

Sometimes, items on the home inspection are small and inexpensive. They don’t change the fact you would like to make the home purchase. It is a good idea to find out what the cost of repairs would be before making that decision. This includes the cost of the materials and the cost of labor for an expert to take care of those issues. Many professionals offer free estimates and that can help you determine the cost of repairs.

If you waive that inspection, you may feel blindsided later on. You may struggle to come up with the money to pay for necessary repairs on the home. Sometimes, those repairs are more than what you have in savings or you can borrow. It may mean you have to sell the home or you won’t be able to live in it.

Selling a home with serious repair issues is going to be difficult. Should a potential buyer want an inspection they will hesitate to buy with those issues. You may have to sell it for a low price to get out from under it.

If you still owe quite a bit on the loan though, you may not be able to sell it for enough to cover what you owe. Unfortunately, such an outcome due to not getting the home inspected has put many homeowners in this impossible situation down the road.

Conclusion

Very few home inspections are completed without any issues being identified. This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to find a home to buy. It gives you an idea of what will need to be done.

Sometimes, the seller will take care of the identified problems before the closing. They don’t want you to back out of the deal. In other scenarios, this gives you some negotiating power. You can agree to fix the items identified in the home inspection but also buy the home for less.

There are times when a serious problem is found during such an inspection. This can change the way you feel about buying it. While it is disappointing to pass up a home with major issues and go back to searching, you have saved yourself from a money pit. You have saved yourself from a home that may not be safe to live in or one that would cost you a considerable amount of money to get those issues resolved.

The home inspection is there to protect you and make sure you are well-informed about the condition of the home. It should be a vital part of your home buying process. It is a personal choice to waive that inspection or not, but it can prove to be a hardship if your home has serious issues and needs extensive repairs.

Other Home Buying Resources


About the author: The above article on “Should I Waive My Home Inspection When Buying A House?” was written by Kyle Hiscock, a top Pittsford NY Realtor with RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.


About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2020, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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