Is forgoing a home inspection a mistake?

Dear Phillis,
My daughter recently purchased a home in Orange County. It’s a vendor’s market there, just like Foothill’s. Because there were multiple offers, her real estate agent suggested that they consider forgoing their home inspection. The house seemed well maintained and she didn’t want to lose it, so she gave up on her inspection. After moving in, she discovered a major problem with the air conditioning. Was his waiver of the home inspection a big mistake?

Dear Jenny,
Have your daughter check to see if she has a home protection policy. If she does, she should contact them immediately. Often buyers negotiate to have the seller provide a one-year home protection policy. These policies generally cover the work components of the house, including air conditioning.

Is waiving the home inspection a big mistake? Sometimes when a home is so outdated, a buyer will know they need to update everything and foregoing the inspection might make sense for that buyer in this case. In hindsight, perhaps the seller’s agent would have allowed your daughter to have her house inspected before accepting her offer. But even knowing about the air conditioning problem probably wouldn’t have deterred your daughter from buying this house.

It is a very competitive real estate market and buyers are not looking for any advantage. It’s a big advantage for the seller when a buyer waives a home inspection. But is this a big mistake? This could very well be the reason your daughter’s offer was accepted over all the others.

You do not specify the problem with the air conditioning. But if it was something the seller was aware of, it should have been disclosed on his Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS). By law, the seller must disclose all known defects. If there is a sticker on the unit indicating who has worked on it before, I suggest they contact that vendor to find out more. If the seller knew of a problem and did not disclose it, the seller is liable. In this case, your daughter should ask her agent to contact the seller’s agent.