Waive the Home Inspection?

Waive the Home Inspection?

By Stephen McCarthy
You might feel like you have to waive your home inspection in order to make your offer competitive. But make sure you understand the risk of what you are doing.

The purpose of the home inspection is to uncover any defects in the property, help you understand how the property functions and estimate the future expenses you might have upon taking ownership of the property.

Imagine taking ownership of the property and then learning the place is not in the condition you had imagined. Maybe the roof needs immediate replacement or the heating system breaks down on day one. Without an inspection, you are flying blind on a major life investment.

Perhaps you are an experienced home buyer with a construction background. You are mentally and financially prepared to handle anything that comes up. So you are in a position to make your own analysis of the property and then be ready to deal with whatever comes up.

Or maybe the place is a teardown and you are really buying the land. Then you need to focus on the land and permitting not the condition of the house.  You can probably waive the inspection.

Or maybe you are planning a major renovation anyway so expect everything is being replaced. So a fast walk-through with your contractor will probably be enough to waive an inspection.

A more typical home buyer who does not have the background or finances to handle anything that comes up should probably conduct a home inspection prior to buying the property. 

A good home inspector will methodically work their way around the property inside and out. Looking at all of the components that make homework. They will identify issues that you would not have considered until you moved in and started living in the property.

I have witnessed hundreds of home inspections over the course of my career and have learned a lot about how residential homes operate and how they are maintained. I have also seen buyers benefit from the inspection just so they learn their responsibilities as new homeowners. Where is the water shut off? Is the hot water tank due for replacement?

I always ask the buyer to listen carefully to the inspector because this is the only time someone will explain how their property functions. Even if I represent the Seller at the time I encourage the buyer to listen. My goal is to have the sale go through and everyone have a clear understanding of the condition of the property. Good sale everyone is happy.

I have also had inspections turn up legitimate defects that impacted the buyer's opinion of the property and made them rescind their offer. A home inspector contingency gives the buyer the opportunity to walk away if they find something they do not like.

New construction? You still want an inspection. They will check every component and generate a punch list for the buyer to give the Seller.

An old house due for rehab? The inspector might not check every component but will advise on the structure and focus on any specific questions you have for the property.

Instead of waiving your home inspection, maybe you can just schedule one before making an offer. The past few years I have seen buyers bring home inspectors to the 1st showing.

Or ask for a home inspection but just limit it to a dollar amount or specific area of concern. The home inspection can be limited to a value above a specified dollar amount. Only a value above $10,000.

Home inspections are a valuable part of the home-buying experience. When it is time to structure your offer carefully consider your ability to handle any post-purchase “surprises” before skipping the inspection.

Work With Stephen

I have been a full-time Boston Real Estate Sales Agent since 2001. I focus primarily on the South Boston, MA real estate market. However, I have closed sales throughout Greater Boston. I monitor values and market activity so that I may provide my clients with timely market information and expertise.

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