WAIVING CONTINGENCIES – Is Waiving the Home Inspection Contingency a Good Idea?

You are a home buyer in search of that “perfect home” and low and behold … you’ve found it!  Now you are faced with the task of securing that home and making it your home!   In today’s market buyers are still faced with many properties still receiving multiple offers – if they are priced well and have no major objections.  So, you understand that making your offer stand out over all the others is key in securing the home.  

In structuring your offer, your realtor should explain to you that your offer is not only about your offered price (while that is certainly an important factor) – it is also about the terms of your offer, that may make your offer more appealing to a seller over another.  In preparation of structuring your offer to make it out-shine the others, should there be multiple offers on the property, it is the job of your realtor to find out what in the offer might be important or appealing to the seller that could be included, as part of their offer, as every seller will have their own wants, needs, and goals.  

Some of the things to consider are – price of course, closing date, mortgage contingency, down payment amount, appraisal contingency, and inspection contingency.  For the purposes of this writing, I will touch on just one … inspection contingency.

As a listing agent, and working with buyers, the question that will sometimes come up – “Is the buyer willing to waive inspections?”  The quick answer to this as your trusted advisor and as a buyer’s agent would be – no, plain and simple.  There are many hurdles to get over in the buying and selling process and home inspections is just one of them.  Inspections are a key component and one of the determining factors of your home purchase.  Buyers need to know “what they are buying” to know what their investment will be once they sign on the dotted line.  I recently had a situation where in representing the buyer – offer was contingent on satisfactory inspections – based only on “health & safety” issues should they arise, which in this market and really in general is the norm.  What we are basically saying here is that the buyer will not “nit-pick on things – they are only concerned with the important stuff, like septic, electrical, and water just to name a few” – you get the idea.  Unfortunately, in this case there were a few, well there were many items that were deemed health and safety issues from the licensed home inspector – that my buyer asked the seller to address.  To confirm the home inspectors’ findings in this case, my buyer hired another contractor specific to the items in question to confirm or not his findings – which they did in fact.  Regardless of confirmed reports of the health and safety issues that arose from these inspections, seller declined to correct the items requested by my buyer. My buyer had no choice but to walk-away as these items were truly and directly the responsibility of the seller and my buyer was not willing to take on these major objections, along with the costs associated with these items.  The home went back on the market, and remains on the market as of today.  In my experience, the end result of my story is really not the norm, as most always, the buyer and seller will come to terms.  

There are varying degrees of comfort, knowledge and wherewithal that comes along with the decision of what a buyer is willing to take on or not, but it is having the knowledge of knowing what they are willing to take on or not only comes through having a home inspection.  It’s a minimal cost in the grand scheme of things, and the comfort and an education of knowing how a “home works” if you will, is just another important component of a home inspection.  

Will there be buyers willing to “waive inspections” in an effort to secure the property – for sure!  That is the right and choice of the buyer.  At the same time, it is my job as their realtor, to explain the possible pitfalls of making that decision and what that might mean to them looking forward …


Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.

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