Considering Waiving Your Home Inspection? Don’t. Try This Move Instead

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The housing market is tough and, unfortunately, cash offers are dominating whenever there’s a bidding war or multi-offer sale. One thing buyers are doing to sweeten the deal? Waiving their home inspections, a move that’s made with a goal of demonstrating to the seller that there will be no further contingencies on the sale.

But is it smart?

Amber Carlton, a real estate agent based in Fargo, North Dakota, who is a top seller for HomeLight, an online platform designed to simplify the home buying and selling process, says waiving your home inspection is situational, but when in doubt, you want to have one before signing on the dotted line. The risks of skipping it are vast since a home inspection will help you detect what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately and over time. It also presents the buyer with one final chance to walk away from a sale based on any changes to their understanding of the investment.

All that said, Carlton says there’s a work-around if you’re in a rush to make an offer: Bring a basement specialist to your initial property walk-through instead.

Sure, it requires some up-front logistical planning—mainly, having a basement specialist on speed dial that is willing to meet you at the time and place of your initial visit to see a prospective property—but it’s a solid alternative to a traditional home inspection since a basement specialist can assess the home’s foundation, one of the most critical areas should it be in need of repair. “With this info, you should have a better idea of whether or not it’s smart to proceed with making an offer,” Carlton says. “It should also give you a bit more peace of mind when it comes to waiving a traditional home inspection.” (In a lot of cases, basement specialists can accurately provide an estimated cost for any repairs, too.)

What if the place you’re buying doesn’t have a basement, say, like a condo? It’s still worth asking the seller if there’s a possibility of bringing a basement specialist along to see the bones of the building, so to speak. A qualified basement specialist can assess things like the potential for mold and mildew, signs of termites and any risks of flooding. (You could also share the property listing with the basement specialist ahead of asking them to join you to make sure their presence at the home tour has value.)

As for finding one, a quick Google search brings up several options for basement specialists or experts that can help with this request. So, if your dream home pops up in your real estate search, flag it to your realtor immediately and let them know that you’d like to do a bit more info-gathering on your tour if possible.

Time—and hopefully—money saved.

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