To all my real estate friends, home buyers, and home sellers.
The inspection industry and the inspection process gives agents, sellers, and buyers a layer of legal protection.
In today’s hot Sellers market, some Real Estate Professionals are telling, advising, or pressuring clients to waive their inspection in order to make their offer more attractive. That’s a great way to get sued if you are a real estate professional. And it’s a great way to own a lot of unforeseen deficiencies if you are a buyer. And believe it or not you can be sued as the home seller after closing.
The entire reason the inspection industry was started was because Buyers used to purchase a house without an inspection and walk into a money pit. They suddenly owned a house with structural and safety issues and Real Estate Agents, “back in the day”, were getting sued for selling houses with these undisclosed deficiencies. Waiving inspections opens that door back up!
My Agent friends, I can show you a court case that held the Real Estate Agent responsible for damages and the client even signed an inspection waiver. The appellate court ruled that clients are making the biggest investment of their life and the Real Estate Professional has a very high standard of care. Convincing someone to waive an inspection is not caring about the client after they move into the house IMO.
What if there is a carbon monoxide leak that was not detected because the inspection was waived?
What if there is some faulty wiring and the house catches on fire?
What if spindles on a second flooring handrail are six inches apart and a baby crawls through the spindles and is seriously injured or dies?
If you are the Real Estate Agent do you really think some lawyer is telling the client not to sue you because they signed a waiver?
What’s going to happen is the client is going to say, “My Agent pressured me into waiving inspections to make my offer more attractive”. Or the clients will say, “My Agent ADVISED me to waive inspections to make my offer more attractive “. Either way you will be legally liable for damages because some sympathetic judge or jury isn’t going to care about some signed waiver. And moreover and more importantly you are not sleeping good at night if your client or their kids were injured.
Now, somewhere along the line the real estate industry developed the sellers disclosure as a way to protect Agents, Sellers, and Buyers. Let’s be honest, that form does not really limit the listing agent or sellers liability. It certainly does not protect buyers or give them good information about the house. 90 percent of that form has the “Don’t know” box checked on it. Now how can someone live in a house for ten years and not know if their foundation or roof leaks? That disclosure form almost never has accurate information. I’ ve seen some state the furnace was on 5 years old when in reality it was closer to 25 years old.
A court case I read about shows how a listing agent and Seller were sued because everyone just relied on the sellers disclosure form. You probably know about Sellers and agents in your own market being sued after closing don’t you?
Here is the bottom line! The inspection process should never be skipped.
It’s only $500 or less on average.
A new roof can cost $10,000 or more, a new furnace can run $6,000, a foundation repair can easily set you back $20,000. Just because a house looks good does not necessarily mean that it is.