Goodspeed: Never skip the house inspection


QUESTION: We want to start looking for our first home this spring. In talking to a realtor, she told us the market is so hot right now with so many buyers competing for the same homes that to improve our chances of getting the home we like we should waive the home inspection. She said many sellers now ask for that. Do you think that’s a good idea?

ANSWER: Absolutely not! I have heard the same thing – i.e. that many sellers now want buyers to waive the home inspection, and since sellers are in the driver’s seat in what has become a very heated real estate market, many buyers are obliging them in order not to lose out on a home. This is foolish.

Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will make. You wouldn’t buy a used car without taking it to a mechanic first to check it out for you. Likewise, you should not buy a home without having a professional home inspector check it out for you.

Is the roof sound? Is the wiring up to code? Foundation sound? What about the heating and air conditioning? Are they in good working order? Are the appliances all working and properly installed?

A professional home inspector will scrutinize all the major systems in the home and report on their functionality and quality. Even in brand new construction, it is a good idea to get a home inspection. Unless you are a professional engineer or architect how do you know the construction has been done properly?

The fact that sellers are asking buyers not to do a home inspection, and that buyers are agreeing to this demand, baffles me. If the seller is not willing to wait a couple of weeks after signing the sales contract for you to have a home inspection, my advice is to keep looking. Do not take a chance.

Linda Goodspeed is a longtime real estate writer and author of In and Out of Darkness. Email her at: