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Smart Language for Inspection Contingency Waivers

June 15, 2021

Some buyers are waiving contingencies in the latest homebuying frenzy—including the inspection—to have their bid stand out. But that can be a risky move.

However, even home buyers who waive the inspection contingency don’t have to forgo all their protections. Christian Adams, a former real estate broker who runs Repair Pricer, told Bankrate.com that buyers should still schedule an inspection rather than skip it altogether.

The home inspection could help them identify problems that, if left ignored, could become major issues down the road.

Also, some real estate pros work with legal experts to add language that offers greater protection for their buyer clients who want to waive the contingency.

For example, some buyers may still conduct an inspection but promise the seller they’ll overlook a single repair valued at less than $500. The contract, however, could specify that the inspector will be evaluating the property for only major issues, like mold, radon, or a faulty foundation, Bankrate.com notes in the article.

“The buyer hopes to send the message to the seller that they’re not going to nickel and dime them,” Katie Severance, a real estate professional at Brown Harris Stevens in Upper Montclair, N.J., told Bankrate.com.

Also, buyers would be wise to go ahead with the inspection even if they have agreed to not make their offer contingent on it—because they still may be able to back out if a major problem is uncovered. For example, if an inspector finds a serious defect—like toxic mold—that could give the buyer a legal cause to back out of the deal even if they waived the inspection contingency, according to the Bankrate.com article.

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