In a hot housing market, you may be tempted to skip a home inspection to score your dream house. While this may make you appear as a better offer to the seller, it is a HUGE mistake. Inspections are very important to ensure you are making a good purchase and to avoid costly issues down the road. They are also crucial when considering the health and safety of your family.

Waiving the home inspection may keep you at the top of the seller’s list, but you are taking a big risk. In addition to risking unexpected repair costs, you are also giving up your bargaining power. Without a home inspection, you give up your ability to negotiate based on repairs the inspector may find. You also forfeit a legal way out of the contract, and you will surrender your earnest money if you back out due to issues you later find.

If you are in home buying mode and considering whether to include skipping the home inspection in your offer, here are a few strategies to try instead. These will allow you to stay competitive without the risk of waiving a home inspection.

  • Pre-Inspection – this is a shorter inspection that checks the main system in the home. The risk is losing the cost if you do not place an offer on the house.
  • Shorten the inspection period – shorten the typical inspection time from seven to 10 days down to three to five. This allows the seller to move on to the next contract quickly if things do not work out.
  • Ask a contractor or home inspector attend the showing with you – this will provide an understanding of the homes condition and will help build confidence to waive inspection.
  • Include an appraisal guarantee – make sure the homeowner will cover the difference between the purchase price and the appraisal.
  • Be flexible with the closing date – allow the homeowner to lease back from you or move the closing date as needed when finding a place to go.
  • Buy a home warranty – this may not replace major issues but will cover the repair.
  • Request property records – this will provide a full understanding of any renovations or construction to the property.
  • Before you decide to waive your home inspection make sure you think long term. Can you afford any unexpected repairs resulting from not having an inspection? Or is it worth the wait to find the perfect home, have an inspection and have peace of mind that you are set up to succeed long term. Choose wisely!