In recent months, the real estate market has experienced an unprecedented, nationwide surge in sales as an apparent result of pandemic related economic changes causing more homeowners to sell, more people to buy and more workers to work from home. Even here in the Northeast where houses have historically sold for under their asking price, the new norm has been multiple offers, subsequent bidding wars, and sale amounts above the asking price. To say the real estate market has been “hot” is an understatement, to be sure.
If you’re placing an offer on a home and going up against multiple other buyers, one of the most tempting options to make your offer more appealing is to waive the home inspection and agree to purchase the home “as is.” After all, what seller would happily accept your offer over another that is equally enticing but doesn’t require an inspection that could uncover defects that would then have to be disclosed? In fact, even your realtor may advise you that waiving the inspection is one of a few things you can do to have a greater chance of your offer being accepted; and guess what… he or she would likely be right!
BUT, you have to ask yourself an important question: Is waiving the home inspection ultimately in your best interest, long-term? Or you might ask, “Is making this large investment over many years still worth it even if major, costly problems may exist that I have no way of knowing about without having the home first thoroughly evaluated by a qualified professional?”
If you’re confident that it’s still worth it and that your apparent dream home won’t actually turn out to be a nightmare in disguise, then you’ll likely opt to take your chances. As an inspector who finds major defects in even the most seemingly nice houses, though, I want to warn you that waiving the home inspection is never a good idea – period. As the old adage goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And some of the most significant problems we’ve found have surprisingly been in some of the most high-end and expensive houses we’ve inspected, which are often not immediately apparent to the typical client (or realtor for that matter).
You don’t get to test drive a new home like you do a vehicle, despite the fact that for most people a home is a far bigger investment. You probably wouldn’t agree to buy a car without at least having it first thoroughly looked over by a qualified mechanic, and you certainly shouldn’t buy a home for far more money without first having it inspected by a certified professional inspector. Yes, you may miss out on a home you were hoping for, but you’ll also have peace in the knowledge that you were wise and didn’t commit to a major investment with incomplete information. View the home inspection as an absolute must, and don’t back down from that commitment under any circumstances.
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