Eager Buyers Are Skipping Home Inspections. Is It Too Risky?

Waiving the home inspection gives sellers one less worry, but costs buyers the chance to uncover pricey problems.
Kate Wood
By Kate Wood 
Updated
Edited by Beth Buczynski

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Shopping for their first home in New Jersey, Alyse Storzieri and her boyfriend Robert Engel faced a tough market. So when they found a house they loved last June, the couple followed their real estate agent's advice to make their offer stand out. They went over the asking price, tripled their down payment amount and agreed to waive the home inspection.

Faced with bidding wars for limited housing stock, a growing number of home buyers are opting to forgo home inspections in order to make their offers appear hassle-free.

The tactic helped Storzieri and Engel beat 12 other offers, but left them worried there could be issues with the nearly 50-year-old home.

The couple planned to have Engel's uncle, a professional contractor, look at the house while it was in escrow. But this backfired when the sellers refused to let them in for another look. Ultimately, the deal fell through when the sellers couldn't find a place to move, a common contingency in home sale contracts.

"After going through the stress of all that, I would say don't waive your inspections," says Storzieri, who's now a real estate agent with Century 21 Mack-Morris in central New Jersey. "Even though it helped us get the bid, I wouldn't suggest it."

A standard home inspection can increase your confidence about a property’s condition before signing on the dotted line. Getting a professional opinion also allows you to negotiate repairs with the seller or back away entirely from buying a property with major issues.

If you're planning to buy a home this year, here's what you should know before agreeing to waive an inspection.

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