Waiving Inspection Conditions

In this competitive market in home sales, lack of inventory often results in multiple offers on the same property.  Other sales tactics also list a property for sale allowing showings with a “offers accepted at 7pm on this date”.  In many instances buyers are unable to fully assess the property and have a Home Inspection completed.

Results of these types of sales can have many impacts on Buyers, Sellers, Agents, and Home Inspectors.  In some cases offers with a Home Inspection Condition are not accepted, in other cases Buyers contact Home Inspectors to consult on an area or two of the home.  

The no inspection approach to sales has resulted in several Home Inspection business closures, and often results in legal action by buyers who discover undisclosed issues in a home that was “a hot property listing”  A furry of offers and overbidding and a quick sale without a home inspection often leaves buyers with defects and no ability to fund the repairs.  Sellers and agents may find themselves in court when known issues are not disclosed. 

In those cases where a Buyer contacts a Home Inspector and asked to have a “Quick Inspection”, Home Inspectors should be very weary and ensure they follow the Standards of Practice.  When asked for a “Quick Look” I always respond with “What is important to you?  The Structure?  Electrical?  Plumbing? Insulation? Roofing? Interior? HVAC? And the general answer is usually “well all of it”.  I refuse to do a “Quick Look” and simply say “I follow the Standards of Practice and my E&O insurance does not cover me for anything less”.

As a Consumer, a rushed sale or over hype in a competitive market can be very risky.  A recent bidding war resulted in a bank appraisal that fell $100K under what the home sold for.  The buyer cancelled the Home Inspection and withdrew his purchase offer.  Imagine if the Purchaser had waived all condition?

As a Home Inspector you must follow the standards of practice.   Offering to do a Quick Look can result in a legal action.  Your Errors and Omissions Insurance would be void if you have not followed the Standards of Practice that you would have submitted with your sample inspection contract to your insurer.   Don’t let a hot market and pressure sales put you at risk for a lawsuit. 

Mike Hayes, NHI, PHPI
Bytown Home Inspection Service BHIS.CA
Member of PHPIC
Board of Directors PHPIC
NHICC Member 00550

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