I showed a home today in Montgomery County, MD and the moment I stepped on to the front stoop, I knew there was going to be a lot of deferred maintenance on the home. I pointed to all of the wood rot around the door and my clients nodded letting me know that they saw it. Not only was the home in very poor condition, but it showed terribly. Yes, it's a hot sellers market now, but buyers really need to be aware of what they might be heading in to when they buy a home that's been neglected.
And, the best way to avoid as many problems as possible, is to have the home inspected by a solid home inspection company. My recommendation is Prime Property Inspectors - Building Inspector of America at http://www.gethomeinspector.com/ . They cover most of the DC Metro area and they've never let me or my buyer clients down.
Last piece of advice: walk away from the home rather than relinquishing your home inspection contingency. I know that many buyers are removing some of their standard contingencies just to be competitive in this market. And I'm sure there are exceptions where it might be ok to remove a home inspection, but for the most part, at a minimum, buyers need to know what they're buying.
Instead of removing the home inspection contingency, you could have your agent check with the seller side to see if they're open to a home inspection before you write an offer.
I'm a seasoned real estate broker in MD, DC and VA and can help with any of your real estate needs. Call me at 240-234-1000 with any questions.