Inspection Time (let's not waive it)!

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

I attended another home inspection this week (I don't recall ever missing one) and as always I am so glad that my clients did not decide to waive it completely. It is tough, almost impossible, to get an offer with home inspections contingencies accepted in a competitive market. Still, I do not recommend waiving them, except when you are a contractor or experienced investor. 

Not including inspection contingencies in your offer does not mean you can't have any done but only that you - technically, per written agreement - do not have the right to negotiate repairs. But you can include an "as-is with inspections" addendum, and can still give your potential new home a once over. It's not a perfect solution (when representing buyers I prefer the option of negotiating repairs) but it is the best of both worlds: being more competitive while being able to protect your own interests, too. 

I cannot disclose any of this week's findings, but I can give you a few more serious examples from the past 18 years:

*mold in the attic
*broken trusses
*chimney cap missing
*chimney mortar deteriorated
*chimney liner in disrepair
*birds nesting in chimney
*screws clogging a drain
*a fake sump pump (there was a hole in the ground but no discharge pipe to the exterior)
*fire hazards inside the electrical panel
*non-functioning appliances
*moisture inside the walls
*code violations
*windows that were not operational
* live wires with no apparent purpose dangling inside a wall

While some issues are noticeable (and I will point things out to you), many others are not that obvious or can only be detected by a professional inspector or test gadgets. And that is why you do not want to waive them, even if this means you will have to write a few offers before making the winning bid. 

The inspection and inspection report is very much educational. It is for your benefit, to understand repairs that are needed and maintenance items that you'll need to pay attention to after the house becomes your home. Ongoing maintenance, and replacements/upgrades is part of home ownership, you should expect to have to deal with some things. 

But if the inspector's list is a long one, much longer than we anticipated, or lists a number of safety hazards and costly repairs, then you still have the opportunity to walk away from this property and continue looking. 

A good inspector will break things down for you and highlight the items that need immediate repair. You decide if you are willing and able to take it all on. The "as-is with inspection" addendum gives you the opportunity to decide. Let's not waive it. 

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Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

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Comments (17)

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Andrea Bedard, Please wave the flag for June's challenge but do not waive the home inspection! I was thinking about you with great appreciation all day and was planning to call. Let's catch up soon.

Jun 10, 2022 09:24 PM
Andrea Bedard

Always so good talking to you Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, hoping you'll share more awesome news with me soon 😀
It's the last week of school, I just closed on a listing, have buyers under contract and will find some breathing room very soon to catch up on all things AR, including the June challenge.  

Jun 15, 2022 01:53 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It has made me sad that people have been forced to waive their inspection in order to win the bid for a home.  Even if the inspection is waived, people should still have an inspection to know what they are getting into.  If they find that it is more than they are willing to accept, they should definitely cancel and find a different home.

Jun 11, 2022 05:36 AM
Andrea Bedard

It shouldn't be that way. Buyers should get the opportunity to give the house a once over.. of course I am thrilled for my sellers when buyers just decide to waive it. My buyers though, that's a different story, I want them to know what's up with house, what to watch out for and what to budget for, or, if the results are surprisingly bad, to have the chance to say "no thank you, this is more than we are willing and able to take on".
Thank you for stopping by Brian England! I am playing catch up.  

Jun 15, 2022 01:56 PM
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Yes...the inspection is sooo key when buying! Most of my listings have had a very short due diligence period, so we were able to accept the offer, and the Buyer still got a chance to do an inspection. 

Jun 11, 2022 05:37 AM
Andrea Bedard

I had a few listings with no inspection contingencies, not even for informational purposes. My sellers were thrilled of course. In one case, the buyer was a contractor. At least he had an idea what to tackle (not that there was much) and the skills to tackle them. 

Jun 15, 2022 01:59 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Andrea... great advice. Even if you waive requesting repairs, you should still inspect... you need to know what might be facing you.

Jun 11, 2022 05:55 AM
Andrea Bedard

I agree Nina Hollander, Broker, the inspection is about so much more! Where's the water shut-off valve? Are any of the appliances on a recall list? What's the average life span of this type of water heater? Especially for first time buyers/home owners, walking through a property with an inspector can be very educational.  

Jun 15, 2022 02:01 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Always get an inspection ... you can always waive repairs or "up to a certain amount of money" -- but Buyer Beware!  You need an Inspection for your own protection!

Jun 11, 2022 07:30 AM
Andrea Bedard

Yes, absolutely! 

Jun 15, 2022 02:02 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

Frankly I don't understand "I can't disclose" because in Georgia if we know we have a duty to disclose.  If a buyer's agent sends the report to the seller's agent they must give it to the seller who then must disclose.

Jun 11, 2022 07:59 AM
Andrea Bedard

Same here Don Baker, we have a disclaimer which still requires the seller to disclose any known latent defects.  

Jun 15, 2022 02:02 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

You make some good points.  I am in the midst of an inspection period right now--it's been a long time since I had to do that!  Even if you have inspections, some of the little stuff buyers have to overlook

Jun 11, 2022 12:43 PM
Andrea Bedard

It can be scary for a buyer, especially if its their first time. It often sounds or looks much worse than it is. I do love the educational aspect of an inspection and think every buyer should get that opportunity. 

Jun 15, 2022 02:11 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post for any home buyer considering waiving an inspection.  Love your graphic for buying a home!  Great advice :)

Jun 13, 2022 03:52 PM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you Jan!! 

Jun 15, 2022 02:11 PM
Miriam Odegard
United Real Estate Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
Real Estate Broker Serving Greater Indianapolis

Love your post, Andrea! It's too risky to waive inspection and can lead to disappointment later. Do you find that heavier reliance on the home warranty is helpful or no? 

Jun 16, 2022 04:19 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Andrea - absolutely don't waive it.  My daughter and husband just passed on a beautiful home because of fundamental horizontal foundation cracks.

Jun 16, 2022 06:04 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Andrea,

I couldn't agree more with you..never wave the inspection. We have a negotiated option period (for a fee by the buyer) which they can complete inspections and try and negotiate repairs. The seller can decline to do any but that is loosing up some now.  Even if the seller refused you can terminate the contract or live with what you know but can make an informed decision.

Jun 16, 2022 07:35 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I don't think buyers should waive the inspection, unless they are an inspector themselves!

Jun 18, 2022 04:40 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Andrea. Nice to be retired! I was a proponent of "for your protection, get a home inspection". In current times I would not change my mind but may add a "walk clause" should reported repairs exceed a large amount with no repairs required of sellers. Enjoy your day.

Jun 18, 2022 05:11 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice to share with prospective home buyers.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Jun 18, 2022 05:24 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Not a good idea to waive the inspection even it is a cash sale. Sometimes people are too "cheap" in their thinking even when buying a $200K plus home.

Jun 18, 2022 07:26 AM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sellers do not like home inspections a any time but this market gives them a slight advantage. Havning protection in the contract for the buyers is always advisable, and can be done without hurting their offer

Jun 20, 2022 12:16 PM
Norbert Fabre, MRSA
Indoor Microbial Specialist IMS - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mold Inspector & Mold Assessor

Always a good idea to inspect the house, specially on a such long and expensive investment. Have a nice day great information. 

Jun 24, 2022 05:11 AM