Waiving Home Inspections has now become a national trend

Waiving Home Inspections has now become a national trend

Waiving home inspections is a bad idea catching on like wildfire throughout the US Real Estate market

The process of homebuyers waiving home inspections as a way to strengthen their offers has become a huge issue for homebuyers and the real estate market here in Massachusetts. Interestingly enough, it turns out that this tactic has taken hold in states throughout the US. Now, people throughout the country are concerned about the very real risks of waiving a home inspection, and why this is such a bad idea.

This problem is pervasive in the industry

We were shocked by how pervasive this has become. So shocked that we compiled a list of all the articles found in a recent search on this topic from at least 18 States across the US, from New Hampshire to California, from Florida to Washington State (see the list below). The sheer number of communities that are reeling from this phenomenon and have resigned to their assumption that this is simply a matter of supply and demand hurts to think about. Many people just assume that the sellers call the shots if there is a low supply. What happens at the end of the day when the buyers are left holding the expenses of repairing a home when they bought it without an inspection? They’re going into these homes blind because people tell them they would not get the home if they didn’t waive the inspection. 

Home inspection should be a right

We believe that it should be a fundamental right to have an inspection on a home should you want one, when buying a home. And that this right should not be compromised by a buyer’s desire to make their offer more attractive to a seller. This is because homes are complex and comprised of many interrelated systems, and your average homebuyer is not expected to have a breadth of expertise in all the systems that together make up a home. 

What does it mean to waive a home inspection?

What does it mean, to waive your home inspection? Waiving your home inspection means that you’ve forfeited the chance to do your due diligence on the condition of the property you want to buy. You’ve waived your chance to find out what might be wrong with the home. If this idea makes you feel a bit (or a lot) queasy, it should. Even professional developers, investors, contractors, flippers, and real estate agents hire home inspectors when buying property (we’ve worked with many of these over the years, so we’ve seen this up close). Why would an average buyer even take the chance that there would be something wrong that they would find out about later, after they’ve committed to buying the home?

Possible solutions

There are a number of ideas about how to help solve this problem. For example, there is a Bill in the Massachusetts legislature right now that was initiated by Home Inspectors. Other states may seek to pursue similar legislation - we’ve already seen interest from interested parties in CT and VA. Another concept that might help alleviate the significant concerns with this process would be if sellers of property would have their homes inspected prior to placing them on the market.

We've written several other articles on this topic, which can be found here. This article is mainly focused on the sheer magnitude and pervasiveness - so we’ve compiled this listing of all the articles we found on this topic of waiving the home inspection: Take a look at how widespread this issue really is.

Massachusetts:

August 10, 2022: Thinking of Skipping a Home Inspection? You're Not Alone

https://www.nbcboston.com/investigations/consumer/thinking-of-skipping-a-home-inspection-youre-not-alone/2803604/

July 6, 2023: Massachusetts Bill H.245 and S.197 would remove home inspection contingency from offer to purchase form, guaranteeing homebuyers the right to a home inspection. 

https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/state-house-bill-would-make-home-inspections-right-massachusetts/TXUI4CRWQVAN7NAY2ZHFK5PYTI/

Vermont:

May 24, 2022: Vermont homebuyers foregoing home inspections

https://www.wcax.com/2022/05/24/some-buyers-forgoing-home-inspections-amid-hot-market/

Connecticut:

May 5 2021: In competitive market, real estate experts warn against forgoing home inspections

https://www.ctpost.com/realestate/article/In-competitive-market-real-estate-experts-warn-16152906.php

Pennsylvania:

May 2, 2022: Leaks, termites, and cracked foundations: Skipping home inspections in a competitive market is tempting — and risky

https://www.inquirer.com/real-estate/home/home-inspections-real-estate-supply-demand-competition-20220502.html

Wisconsin:

November 10, 2021: Waiving home inspection: Home buyers took risk to land houses in 2021

https://www.fox6now.com/news/home-buyers-risk-waiving-home-inspection

Washington, DC:

October 22, 2021: I waived the inspection on my home, and it's cost me a fortune. Here are 5 things I'd tell first-time buyers before doing the same.

https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/first-time-homebuyers-should-know-before-waiving-inspection-2021-9

Maryland-DC-Virginia:

November 29, 2021: No home inspection? Protections vary in DC, Maryland and Virginia:

https://wtop.com/business-finance/2021/11/no-home-inspection-protections-vary-in-dc-maryland-and-virginia/

New York:

May 20, 2022: Why You Should Not Waive the Home Inspection

https://www.sterling518.com/2022/05/why-not-to-waive-the-home-inspection/


Florida:


August 25, 2021: Experts warn homebuyers against skipping inspection to compete in market

https://abc-7.com/news/cover-story/2021/08/25/experts-warn-homebuyers-against-skipping-inspection-to-compete-in-market/


Arizona:


December 7, 2021: New Valley homeowners finding flaws after purchasing their homes

https://www.abc15.com/news/let-joe-know/new-valley-homeowners-finding-flaws-after-purchasing-their-homes


North Carolina: 


July 12, 2021: Eager Charlotte buyers: Don’t skip the home inspection, experts say

ttps://amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/development/article252626203.html


August 6, 2018: Waiving an Inspection? Here Are the Risks

https://www.nchfa.com/news/home-matters-blog/waiving-inspection-here-are-risks


California:


Oct 9, 2005 Couple waive home inspection, learn hard lessons

https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Couple-waive-home-inspections-learn-hard-lessons-2565973.php

New Hampshire: 

May 10, 2023: Waiving home inspections can leave house unprotected

https://www.wmur.com/article/waiving-home-inspections-can-leave-house-unprotected/43856379

Maine:

June 27, 2022: Maine homebuyers are skipping the inspection. Experts say it’s a risky move.

https://www.pressherald.com/2022/06/27/maine-homebuyers-are-skipping-the-inspection-experts-say-its-a-risky-move/

Minnesota:

June 10, 2022: More Minnesota home buyers are skipping an inspection, but should they?

https://www.startribune.com/more-minnesota-home-buyers-are-skipping-an-inspection-but-should-they/600180901/

Washington State:

April 18, 2017: Matt Driscoll: It makes my stomach cringe: Don’t waive your home inspection, Real Estate Agents warn

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/matt-driscoll/article144752154.html

Nevada:


September 22, 2021: Experts: Don't skip inspection when buying a home

https://www.ktnv.com/13-investigates/experts-dont-skip-inspection-when-buying-a-home

General Articles - non-state-specific:

June 16, 2022: Please don't waive your home inspection
https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/pfi-newsletter-dont-waive-home-inspection-2022-6

May 13, 2022: The Wall Street Journal had a nice piece on what to do in the aftermath of waiving a home inspection: https://www.wsj.com/articles/waiving-a-home-inspection-the-aftermath-11652455361

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