In a seller’s market, buyers often compete with several other offers on a home. To sweeten their offer, many buyers choose to waive their right to a home inspection, which can be appealing to sellers who want to speed up the process and avoid delays and costs related to repair needs found during an inspection.

Before you use this tactic to score on a home, consider these advantages to having a home inspection and the risk you take on by waiving the request.

What does a home inspection entail and how does the buyer benefit?

Once the buyer signs a purchase agreement and the home is under contract, the buyer usually has five to seven days to complete a home inspection at their own cost. The home inspection involves a professional, certified home inspector visiting a home and looking for any hidden problems such as:

  • Roof or structural damage
  • Termite damage
  • Electrical, plumbing and HVAC issues
  • Malfunctioning appliances and other systems like sprinklers
  • Other damage or repairs needed to the exterior or interior of the home

The buyer can then use the findings from the inspection to decide if they will proceed with buying the home, request the seller fixes the problems or renegotiate their offer to include repair expenses.

The risks of waiving a home inspection

The biggest risk with waiving a home inspection is that you may buy a home with hidden problems that end up costing you down the road, or in some cases, as soon as you move in. A home is one of the biggest purchases and most important investments you make in your life, so discovering costly problems you could have uncovered with a home inspection can take a big hit on your finances and peace of mind.

How to make a strong offer without waiving a home inspection

Luckily, there are other ways to strengthen your offer on a home besides waiving a home inspection. Here are a few:

  • Get preapproved. In a strong seller’s market, many sellers won’t even consider a buyer who is not preapproved for a mortgage.
  • If you’re making a cash offer, provide proof of funds.
  • Offer a shorter close time.
  • Offer to pay for the home warranty. Although the seller typically pays for home warranty, offering to cover it as the buyer can strengthen your offer.
  • If you’re obtaining a conventional home loan rather than an unconventional loan, such as an FHA loan, let the seller know. Conventional loans are often more appealing to sellers.
  • Make a larger earnest payment to show you’re a serious buyer.

While your lender won’t require a home inspection, it’s an important factor in ensuring you are making a sound financial decision in choosing a home to buy. If you decide to waive the inspection, consider building in extra room in your budget for some unexpected repairs.

Next steps:

  1. Check out other recent Homeownership content, like this article about buying a home above appraised value.
  2. Learn more about Bankers Trust home loans.
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