If you’re considering waiving a home inspection as a buyer, you need to be aware that there are serious risks involved. Many first-time buyers see inspections as an unnecessary cost. But the truth is, anyone with experience in the real estate industry says a home inspection is crucial to avoid major issues later on.
Why A Buyer Might Want to Waive a Home Inspection
In most real estate contracts, there is an ‘inspection contingency’ or ‘due diligence contingency’. This gives the buyer time to gain a professional home inspection report. This period usually lasts around seven to ten days.
First-time buyers often visit properties and assume what they see on their visit is the full story. They don’t see any serious damage or cause for concern, so they think they can save some money by waiving a home inspection.
This urge is usually increased by the desperation for buyers to get their hands on a property in ultra-competitive modern real estate markets.
But the truth is the risks of waiving a home inspection are never worth it.
The Risks of Waiving a Home Inspection
You Might Miss Undisclosed Damage and Problems
Here’s what’s worse than paying for a licensed home inspector: you move into your new dream home, but within a few days, you start noticing big problems.
It could be that you see significant mold damage, seeping deep into the walls. Or, you notice the walls are sinking slightly on one side of the house and there are significant structural problems. Or that the plumbing makes a truly awful smell after a shower.
These are just a few examples of potential issues that could need costly repairs or cause safety issues that mean your new home is inhabitable. Repairs will cost far more than an inspection costs.
Worst of all, years of savings and hard work have been crushed.
You May Struggle to Get Your Property Insured
If you waive a home inspection, you may struggle to get your new property insured. Insurance companies don’t want to risk losing money on properties that have defects or are at risk of having severe problems.
If they don’t have proof that the property isn’t in good condition, they might refuse your application. This can leave you with all sorts of problems later, especially in Florida, where hurricanes, storms and flooding make home insurance imperative.
You May Struggle to Resell the Home
Similarly, without a home inspection report, you may struggle to resell the property in the future. Future buyers will want to know the history of the property. They’ll want to know if it deteriorated quickly or if it worsened in condition over many years? These questions can be hard to answer without an inspection report.
You May Struggle to Negotiate
Inspections are also crucial at allowing buyers to negotiate price reductions, repairs, or credits. The risk of waiving a home inspection is that you have no proof of some of the downsides in the property, which would justify a lower price.
For example, if the water heater needs replacing or plumbing needs fixing, then an inspection report gives you bargain power.
You May Not Be Able to Walk Away
When you get a home inspection report and are unhappy with what’s revealed, you can choose to walk away from the property if you have an inspection contingency period. This protects you from buying a property that you ultimately don’t want and need to avoid.
If you waive a home inspection, then you might not legally have this opportunity to walk away from the deal – leaving you in trouble!
Finding red flags at this point can happen, whether it’s roof damage, HVAC problems, or structural problems.
Often, there are seemingly minor issues like ungrounded electrical outlets, minor water leaks or a insulation problems. While these may not seem as critical, they can still be costly to repair so it’s important to be able to address and negotiate these with the seller prior to purchase.
Don’t make the mistake of not being able to walk away because you wanted to save some money. It’s arguably worth the peace of mind alone.
How Much Does a Real Estate Inspection Report?
Home inspection costs vary with each property, depending on size, age and location. In Florida, for most single-family homes,it will cost between $300 to $600.
However, in more affluent areas, it may go above $1,000.
Is It Worth Getting a Home Inspection Report?
Yes. It is always worth getting a home inspection report. Considering how much money you’re investing in the property and how much potential repairs could cost, is it really worth gambling tens of thousands of dollars (or more) for a small saving?
Almost every real estate agent and real estate attorney will advise that a home inspection is an integral part of the homebuying process.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection?
During a home inspection, a licensed home inspector will visit the property to perform tests and observations that may reveal defects in the property. These defects include those that will affect value and condition over time. Such as:
- Structural problems
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Heating and air condition systems
- Water heater condition and other appliances
- Mold or mildew issues
- Water damage issues
Additional concerns that may require a specialist to inspect or test are things such as:
- Insect or vermin infestations
- Radon levels or other harmful issues
- Septic Systems
What Is an Inspection Contingency Clause?
Inspection contingency clauses are used in contracts to allow buyers to cancel the contract and/or to get their deposit back if the home inspection leaves them unhappy.
It may also allow for price reductions, credits at closing or call for repairs before closing. If you waive a home inspection, you will not have an inspection contingency clause in your real estate contract.
Contact a Real Estate Attorney in Florida
Real estate attorneys ensure your rights are protected when closing a purchase. Property inspections are just one example of that.
A real estate attorney will help you find and communicate with a home inspector in Florida, to ensure you’re not buying a property that leaves you with expensive repairs in the future.
They’ll also guide you with property ownership decisions so you make the best investment for your family.
If you’re purchasing property or land in St Petersburg, Florida or Riverview, Florida, contact us today. Our St Petersburg & Riverview real estate attorneys have extensive experience that can help you through these tricky moments, reviewing your contract, advising you on the next steps to secure your transaction, and successfully finalizing the purchase of your home.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.