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Waiving a Home Inspection | What Is the Impact and Is it a Good Idea?

A home inspection is an important step to take when buying a house. A professional inspector will look for any potential problems with the property that could end up costing you a lot of money down the road. Without a home inspection, you could end up purchasing the Money Pit.


The low inventory of homes has made it a seller's market in many parts of the country. This puts buyers in a vulnerable position and leaves them at risk of overpaying for a home or worse, buying a house that has serious problems that could end up costing them thousands of dollars down the road. Many sellers are aware of the shortage of available houses and as a result are putting pressure on buyers to to waive their right to a home inspection.


WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?

A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are performed by trained professionals who use a variety of tools to examine the property. They look for things like structural damage, water leaks, electrical problems and other potential issues that could end up costing the buyer a lot of money down the road.


Home inspectors do not have X-ray vision and they cannot see through walls. However, they will take a close look at all of the visible and accessible areas of the house in order to identify any potential problems. After the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide the buyer with a report that details any issues that were found.


WHY WOULD A SELLER WANT YOU TO WAIVE A HOME INSPECTION?

Nine times out of ten, the reason that a seller pressures a buyer to waive his right to a home inspection is not a nefarious one. In other words, just because a seller wants to eliminate the home inspection doesn't mean that he is hiding a defect that he doesn't want to buyer to become aware of.


In most cases, the seller simply doesn't want to deal with the hassle and expense of having a home inspection. Home inspections can often be a headache for sellers. They generally have to be scheduled around the seller's work schedule and can sometimes take several hours. If the buyer is requesting repairs, the seller may need to miss even more work in order to be present for the repairmen.


Some sellers don't want to be delayed be negotiations concerning repairs or don't want to provide a credit at closing. Others may be buying a new home and need to close on a particular date and fear that an inspection will delay the sale.


Or course, there is always the chance that some sellers may be trying to hide a serious problem with the property and hope that by eliminating the inspection the buyer won't find out until much later.


WHY SHOULD YOU ALWAYS HAVE A HOME INSPECTION?

Home inspections are important because they can save you a lot of money and prevent you from making a serious mistake. By conducting a home inspection a buyer has the opportunity to understand what they are buying and what, if any, repairs they will have to make in the future. This is important for any house but even more important for older houses that might have outdated systems (i.e. plumbing, electrical) and or defective conditions. Performing a home inspection can help put a buyer on level ground with the seller in terms of understanding what they are getting for their money.


A home inspection can also be used as leverage during negotiations with the seller. If the inspection report reveals serious problems with the property, you may be able to renegotiate your purchase price or get the seller to agree to pay for some of the repairs.

In some cases, where the repairs are significant or the seller refuses to make the repairs or offer a credit, you may decide to walk away from the deal altogether.


A home is a big purchase and one of the most important decisions you will ever make. While it may be tempting to waive the inspection contingency in order to move forward with a particular property, it's generally not a good idea.

WHAT IS AN INSPECTION CONTINGENCY?

An inspection contingency clause is a common contingency included in home purchase agreements that states that the buyer has the right to have the property inspected by a qualified inspector of his choice within a certain number of days after the contract is signed. If problems are discovered as a result of the inspection, the buyer can then negotiate with the seller for repairs or a credit at closing. If an agreement can't be reached, the buyer usually has the option of voiding the contract and getting their earnest money back.


An inspection contingency protects buyers by giving them an "out" if serious problems are discovered with the property. It also provides them with leverage during negotiations with sellers since they can threaten to walk away from the deal if they're not satisfied with the seller's response to the inspection report.


CAN YOU GET OUT OF THE CONTRACT IF YOU WAIVE THE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY?

While it is technically possible to get out of a contract even if you have waived your inspection contingency, it can be extremely difficult to do so. If you waive the inspection contingency, your only way out of the contract may be if your loan falls through.


HOW CAN YOU DECIDE IF IT IS WORTH IT TO WAIVE THE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY?

While it is generally not a good idea to waive the home inspection there are times when the seller refuses to permit the inspection and you absolutely want the house. If this is the case, make sure that you do your homework and that you know what you are getting into. You can always request information on the house, such as permits for prior repairs etc. from the town . That said, we never suggest waiving a home inspection.


BOTTOM LINE

A home is a big purchase and one of the most important decisions you will ever make. While it may be tempting to waive the inspection contingency in order to move forward with a particular property, it's generally not a good idea. Home inspections are important because they give you a better understanding of the property you're buying and can save you money in the long run. If the seller refuses to allow an inspection, you may want to consider walking away from the deal altogether.


While home purchases are commonplace, I cannot underscore the importance have having an experienced real estate attorney in your corner. An attorney can help you make decisions concerning the contract and the impact of waiving certain contingencies.


Do you have questions about Home Inspections, Buying a Home or other Real Estate issues? If so, contact us Today at our Bergen County Office. Call Us at (201) 904-2211 or email Us at info@pjlesq.com

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If you would like more information about this post or if you want to discuss your legal matter with an attorney at the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont, please contact me at pl@pjlesq.com or at (201) 904-2211. Don't forget to check out and subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel. We have hundreds of podcasts and videos concerning a variety of business and legal topics. I look forward to answering any questions that you might have.

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As with any legal issue, it is important that you obtain competent legal counsel before making any decisions about how to respond to a subpoena or whether to challenge one - even if you believe that compliance is not required. Because each situation is different, it may be impossible for this article to address all issues raised by every situation encountered in responding to a subpoena. The information below can give you guidance regarding some common issues related to subpoenas, but you should consult with an attorney before taking any actions (or refraining from acts) based on these suggestions. Separately, this post will focus on New Jersey law. If you receive a subpoena in a state other than New Jersey you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney in your state as certain rules differ in other states.

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