BuyingReal Estate July 30, 2020


The market around Metro West Boston is starting to heat up again in certain price segments.  And, bidding wars are starting to emerge again in those certain price segments.  And, Buyers are starting to drop some contingencies when making offers.  So, should a Buyer waive the Home Inspection?  The sort answer is NO.  Unless the Buyer has experience and is knowledgeable in the structural and mechanical systems that comprise a house, they should defer to a licensed Home Inspector.

The average Home Inspection costs about $800 to $1,200 currently.  That costs increases with additional items such as pest, radon, lead, water, soil, and other associated tests.

What is the average Home Buyer to do?

First, get knowledgeable.
You don’t have go get your Contractors License, but do gain an understanding of the major structural and mechanical systems.  The book – The Confident House Hunter – by Dylan Chaulk is a great resource to get acquainted with the various types of homes and systems.  This will allow you to view a home, looking past the new Kitchen and gleaming hardwood floors, to what really matters.

Do a Little Research
Get an idea on the age and condition of the furnace, hot water heater, air conditioning unit, roof, windows, etc.  Spend ample time at the Open House or Showing.  See if there are manufacture dates on the furnace, hot water heater, windows, etc.  Bring a flashlight and poke around in the basement and attic.  Look for cracks in the foundation, signs of current or past water penetration.  Outside, is there any rotted wood?  Visit the Town Hall and review the file for the home at the Building Department.  This all helps to make a more educated guess as to the condition of the property.

Waive the 1st $10,000 or $20,000 of Inspection Items
If you are in a multiple offer situation, the Seller is unlikely to fix anything or offer a concession unless it is a major structural / mechanical / safety issue. Thus, waiving the 1st $10,000 or $20,000 really does not matter, but it sends an important message to the Seller that you will not use the Inspection to get the price back down.  And, it allows you to back out if the issues with the home are insurmountable.  You might just beat out a higher offer that has a full inspection contingency.

Conduct a Pre-Inspection
Prior to submitting an Offer, conduct a Pre-Inspection.  The Seller will need to agree to this.  Depending on timing, this might not be possible.  This can allow the Buyer to make an Offer waiving the Home Inspection.  The Seller may be more at ease because they do not need to worry about the outcome of the Inspection.  The Buyer does incur the cost of the Inspection though.

While I never recommend a Buyer waive the Home Inspection, using some of the items listed above may help in a situation were a Buyer feels pressure to waive the Home Inspection but elects not to.

Doug McNeilly is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Realty in Wayland, Massachusetts.  He specializes in Wayland, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham and the Greater Boston Metro West Area.  He can be reached at or