We all know we’re in the middle of a red hot real estate market – a market where the home inspection clause, once considered a standard and essential part of any real estate contract, is no longer being added to the purchase contract. In markets like this, buyers often find themselves competing against multiple offers. Not only does that mean homes are selling over asking price, it also means that many buyers are making unconditional offers – in other words, offers with no contingencies.
So is it still possible for buyers to protect themselves against hidden defects and costly repairs, and still obtain a home in an in-demand neighborhood? Experts say yes, as long as they’re willing to think outside the box. Some buyers who know they won’t get a home if they make their offer conditional on a home inspection choose to hire a licensed home inspector or someone else with specialized knowledge to come to showings and open houses with them instead. Find an expert, maybe a home inspector or someone with a good contrruction background to do a walk-thru with you. Yes, this expense will be on you – but well worth the money down the road.
Experts say that it’s important to remember that even in the absence of a home inspection, sellers have the legal obligation to disclose any “latent defects” that are significant enough to either render the home uninhabitable, or that come at a very high cost to repair. Both sellers and realtors can face lawsuits if they knowingly fail to disclose a major issue with a property.
Ultimately, it comes down to individual buyers to decide what level of risk they’re willing to accept as part of their house hunt. For the buyers who are feeling pressure and may feel they have to waive that home inspection condition, they have to be comfortable with that. At the end of the day, the homebuyer will need to be comfortable with the risk they may be taking on.