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Don’t You Dare Waive Inspections

Oct 25, 2023 | Real Estate

Inspections

Should you waive inspections? 

In this blog, we are going to investigate this recent phenomenon that started during the seller’s market and is certainly even more common today — buyers waiving the inspection contingency. During this unsettled market, buyers and sellers are faced with multiple bid scenarios, which leads to a competitive nature of the home-buying process. Due to this, buyers will opt to waive inspections which should be avoided.  

There are many aspects involved with a house, especially for dwellings of a certain age. It is important to reserve your right to have inspections to pinpoint the totality of the condition of the home. Several common home inspection types include:  

  • General Home Inspection – Focusing on structural issues, mechanical issues, some and environmental issues such as radon. A typical home inspector will also be able to test for wood-destroying insects, which encompasses termites and carpenter ants.  They will also test for any damage caused by such wood-destroying insects. 
  • Radon – Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps through the ground and collects in closed spaces.  It is cancerous and you must identify if the house has radon levels at levels deemed unsafe.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies radon levels that meet or exceed 4.0 picocuries per liter (pc/L) as being unsafe requiring remediation.   
  • Oil Tank Sweep – If you have an older house, there could have been an oil tank buried in the ground that either was abandoned when the homeowners converted to gas or abandoned when they moved the tank above ground and put the tank either on the side of the house or in the basement. If the oil tank were to decay and it is filled with oil, it eventually seeps into the soil and potentially the groundwater. This becomes an expensive problem that is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protect Action. As a buyer, you should know if there is a tank underground, and have it removed and if necessary, have the soil tested to make sure you have no environmental issues.  
  • Septic Tanks – A private source system, lasting approximately 20 years. Often, people will hire a septic inspection company to come in and inspect a septic system. However, when the system needs replacing, this can be costly for a home buyer, and should be something to inspect for.  
  • Sewer Scopes – Similar to septic, a home that is connected to the public sewer system should be examined with a camera to make sure that the connection between the home and the public line is not breached or damaged.  That connection is the responsibility of the homeowner and if there is an issue, only the homeowner is responsible.  As such, Buyers should always get sewer lines and connections inspected. 
  • Asbestos – If there is a certain type of insulation and it is an older house, you should test for asbestos. It is a cancer-causing agent when it is inhaled. If it is disturbed, it then becomes airborne and very dangerous. 

If for some reason, you had inspections waived then have your attorney include some type of inspection contingency language back into the contract to retain your right to cancel the transaction if a significant issue is found. If you are a buyer and you agree that the property is being sold in “as is” condition, make sure that there is language in the contract that allows you to cancel the contract even if the seller is not inclined to make any repairs or address any issues.  A “take it or leave it” proposition is okay for a buyer as long as they can “leave it” for a major issue.   

Overall, it is best practice to always do your inspections. Do not waive your inspections just to be the most attractive buyer and do your due diligence before embarking on one of the largest transactions of your lifetime. Be sure to always consult a New Jersey real estate attorney that will advise you on your rights if you are buying or selling a home. If you wish to learn more, please contact Abdou Law Offices, LLC at (732) 540-8840. 

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