You can’t tell a book by its cover, and you can’t tell a home’s condition by how well it looks when you fall in love with it and go under contract.
That’s why you should never waive your right to inspect the home and submit an “Inspection Objection.” With all the bidding wars going on, it’s increasingly common for buyers to waive both inspection and appraisal in order to get the home they are bidding on.
There are three inspection deadlines. You might feel the need when competing with other buyers to waive inspection objection and inspection resolution, but you should never waive inspection termination. That way, you still have the right to hire a professional inspector, and you may just find enough hidden defects to exercise your right to terminate the contract.
That’s what happened with a buyer I was working with. The house showed all the signs of being well built and well maintained, but the inspection revealed several shocking structural flaws, electrical issues and plumbing problems. We clearly had to terminate — unless the seller was willing to amend the contract to allow for inspection objection and inspection resolution, which she did. (Lesson: The threat to terminate alway contains within it the possibility of restoring the right to submit an inspection objection which you may have given up to win the bidding war.)
We then submitted an extensive list of repairs, which the seller rejected completely. This was unusual, however, since the seller and her agent were now aware of serious problems, structural and otherwise, which they were required by law to disclose to the next buyer.