In some real estate markets the competition has heated up to the point that it is much like a piranha feeding frenzy with multiple offers on each property within hours after the initial listing hits the data base. That means market-seasoned-buyers are putting their best foot forward at the initial offering, instead of wheeling and dealing for a lower price or better terms. Some brokers have advocated to their road weary buyers to forgo an inspection contingency in order to make their offer more streamlined and attractive to the seller, hoping that this strategy will make their offer stand out to the seller.
This aggressive strategy is understandable in some hyper markets! It has been reported that in the Seattle area one property owner received 130 offers within hours of listing entry. On this side of the mountains, we have not seen a buying frenzy quite like that, but it has been a very trying year for many buyers who have faced a shortage of listings and stiff competition.
I worry that buyers who invoke the “no-inspection” strategy may be short changing themselves! There may be other less risky methods to remain competitive but still have the opportunity to scrutinize the structure and systems of a house prior to purchase. If a buyer chooses not to ascertain the real condition of a home and makes the purchase anyway, the subsequent cost of repairs may be higher than if they had negotiated with a higher offer and an inspection contingency in place. Unless you have the eyes and experience of a building contractor, it would be foolhardy to take the risk of no inspection.
The flip side of the coin is that many buyers who ask for the home inspection contingency to be invoked, later burden the seller with wearisome lists of requested repairs, motivating the seller to seek for any opportunity to get out of the contract and move on to another less picky buyer. At least with a comprehensive investigation of the homes systems, appliances and structure, the buyer can move forward to closing with their eyes wide open, or can quickly move on to a property they can stomach. One way to make the inspection contingency more palatable to a seller might be to shorter the inspection time period so the seller isn’t unreasonably delayed while the buyer takes an objective look at the property.