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Waiving an inspection? Costly issues you could miss

by | May 17, 2021 | Real estate transactions

Buying a house right now is no easy task. Between the sharply increasing housing prices and the shortage of homes, motivated buyers are considering various components to make their offer as attractive as possible.

If you are looking to buy a home, one option you may be considering to improve an offer is to waive an inspection. However, there are some critical things to know before you make your offer.

What an inspection can reveal

Walking through a home can give you a good idea of what you are buying. But there is a lot you may not see without closer examination.

During an inspection, inspectors will review numerous issues. Four common findings that could require extensive, expensive repairs include:

  • Insufficient insulation
  • Defects, including water intrusion
  • Repairs that are not up to code
  • Faulty electric wiring
  • HVAC problems
  • Landscaping issues, including grading and sloping
  • Problematic foundations

These problems may not be visible to the naked eye, especially when you only have an hour or so to walk through the home. And while they may not be cause for immediate concern, these issues can quickly get out of control.

Homebuyers could wind up facing health hazards on top of extensive repairs. They may be unable to live in the home, and the cost to fix the problems could ultimately cut into any equity there may be.

Considering options for your offer

Even if you are prepared to take on potential cosmetic issues, the odd faulty light switch or a less-than-perfect exterior, buying a house without an inspection can be a gamble. Instead of putting this in your offer, you might consider alternatives.

You could consider:

  • Waiving contingencies
  • Including a letter to appeal to the non-financial aspects of a sale
  • Allowing the sellers to stay in the home for some time as renters

There are also several ways to adjust the financial components of an offer, including increasing earnest money deposits or offering additional funds to cover an appraisal gap.

Whatever your offer ultimately looks like, you should understand the legal and financial documentation you are signing. During this somewhat chaotic experience, you may not have the time to review the documentation yourself, so consulting an attorney can help you avoid costly oversights and missteps.