ABC's of Buying Florida Real Estate




Is it OK to Waive a Home Inspection ?

Be Sure You Know the Protection You Are Giving Up

  In a "hot housing market" or when there are multiple offers for the same property, there is a tendency on the part of anxious home buyers to think of dropping the standard contingency requiring a professional home inspection. Waiving your inspection contingency may help you prevail if there are multiple offers on the home you want, but it can prove to be a very costly mistake.

  The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to insist upon a professional inspection before you buy. A top-to-bottom examination of the home and everything that is to come with it is probably one of your best and most important investments. A standard inspection will include a review of the home’s heating and cooling systems, plumbing and wiring, all major appliances included in the sale, the pool and supporting equipment if there is a pool, plus the walls, attic, ceilings, floors, windows and, if there is one, the basement. The specifics may vary slightly based upon the type of construction in your area, but basically all the structural, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems plus any included appliances are normally checked and evaluated to determine if they are in "working order."

  Buyers who waive the inspection contingency have no protection at all against potential defects in the home. A leaking roof, faulty wiring, appliances that don't work or a defective heating or air conditioning system may not be readily available to you as a buyer. But these problems, if not discovered before the sale is closed, can cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected repair bills just when you may be either short of cash or wishing to spend what cash you have on decorating, not on repairs.

  A competent Sarasota Realtor who can provide the names of qualified and experienced professional home inspectors in your area. You can also find a directory of qualified home inspectors at the website of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) at

  Your home inspector will review their findings with you and alert you to any costly or potentially hazardous conditions they find. If costly repairs are necessary, the seller may be willing to either get them done before closing or reduce the selling price to offset the costs you would otherwise have to bear yourself. When only minor repairs are needed, an agreement can often be worked out that will not affect the sale price. The seller often just gets the repairs done themselves before closing.

  Your home inspection also serves another useful purpose -- education. Most buyers want to learn as much as they can about their new home so they can protect their investment. An impartial home inspector can provide you with helpful advice on how to keep the systems in your new home working at their most efficient level.

  So, should you waive your right to a professional home inspection as a way to entice the seller to accept your offer ? "You can, but understand that you are giving up a very valuable protection that may prove to have been a costly mistake when it’s too late," advises one Sarasota real estate agent with years of experience helping home buyers.


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