There is a new bill introduced into the House and Senate in MA that will guarantee homebuyers the right to have a home inspection and remove the Home Inspection Contingency from the Offer to purchase. This will return the conditions back to their original intent giving homebuyers the consumer protection intended when the state originally introduced licensure and regulations for the profession.
The real estate market has gotten to a fever pitch where many homes in the state placed on the market right now are receiving multiple offers to purchase without any home inspection contingency. Home buyers are being led to believe that there is no other option for them but to waive the inspection contingency because their offer will not be competitive with many other offers that also waive the contingency.
This is resulting in homebuyers being harmed financially and with respect to the safety of their new homes because they have waived the inspection.
The MA law and regulations for Home Inspector licensure for Home Inspectors was enacted 22 years ago in 2001. The purpose of home inspector law and licensure is to protect the consumer. It was determined that consumers could benefit from the assistance of a professional home inspector to help them determine the condition of the property they are buying, to protect them against undue harm financially or otherwise, by identifying significant defects in a home they may be purchasing.
Standards for Home Inspection were established based on the Standards of Practice of the oldest and most well-established professional organization for Home Inspection, ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). The MA regulations for Home Inspection are MA 266 CMR.
Homebuyers that insist on inspecting a home they are planning on purchasing are being edged out of the market almost entirely - so now they are resorting to inspecting the home prior to placing an offer, so they can waive the contingency. But in doing that, it has become the wild west in terms of how anyone is managing to get these homes pre-inspected. Anyone who’s attempted to buy a home here in Massachusetts knows that there are all sorts of “pre-offer” inspections happening, from a “walk and talk” to a “consultation” to a “Pre-offer Home Inspection”. What was once a clear delineation with a distinct standard of practice has now devolved into a loose situation where anything goes - homebuyers are having home inspectors attend open houses and walk through the home for 15 minutes, pretending to be an uncle. We were recently asked to do a “Dunkin Donuts” walk-through - what the heck even is that? People are calling these inspections whatever they want to, and doing whatever they feel they want to. In many cases, Home Inspectors are not issuing reports and accepting cash only.
Our home inspection company is increasingly being told that “Seller’s aren’t allowing inspections” and “Listing Agent won’t let us be in the home more than 15 minutes” and so on…Here’s some more info on Pre-offer inspections. Also, here’s an interesting article on the topic, and another. The situation has gotten so chaotic, and the homebuyers are getting left in the dust to deal with all sorts of problems like termite damage, rotted framing, failing foundations, deteriorated piping, unsafe wiring, roof leakage, and many other issues. This is exactly why Home Inspections exist in the first place, and why most states in the country have licensure for home inspectors and state regulations for inspections.
We welcome your support, as well as any comments you might have on this. Please send any letters of support to: email@example.com. We are also looking for any accounts by homebuyers of their story of home purchasing. If they were harmed or financially impacted in a negative way, please let them know we need their story. Please also feel free to write to the Representatives and Senators in your districts and ask them to co-sponsor the bill, and write to the sponsors of the bills to let them know how you feel about it.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all.
Thanks and good luck out there!!