Should you ever consider waiving contingencies to close on a home? Don’t let the whirlwind market in Chester County, Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania make you feel pressured to go against the standard practices that have been in place for decades to keep everyone protected. Yes, sellers are enjoying unprecedented negotiation power at the moment. This is causing some to see how far they can push a buyer’s willingness to “do what it takes” to get an offer accepted. However, unbridled optimism isn’t always the best strategy. The truth is that it’s a real case of “sellers and buyers beware” out there in the market. For buyers, there is the potential to get stuck with expensive repairs that drastically increase your actual housing budget. For sellers, there is the potential to be sued if a buyer can prove that any statement on your seller’s disclosure was intentionally inaccurate. Dramatic legal issues that come with high costs for all can be avoided when buyers and sellers follow the traditional course of getting full traditional home inspections done before agreeing to close.
Here’s the Truth on Waiving Contingencies as a Seller in Pennsylvania
If you’re thinking of selling, you’re probably feeling encouraged by stories of buyers making offers way above asking. You’re probably also hearing stories of buyers waiving inspection contingencies to deliver the strongest offers possible. Yes, many buyers are resorting to this strategy after facing rejection after rejection in the market. Waiving contingencies can seem like a great way for a buyer to win out over other offers. It can also seem like an easy win for a seller. Is it really that simple?
Not if you understand how the real estate market works. Issues with a house will eventually surface. When this happens, it can create a big nightmare because buyers may try to wiggle out of an offer after weeks or months of what felt like a process that was moving forward. There are many reasons why buyers get cold feet after making offers with waived contingencies. Here’s what can happen:
- The buyer discovers a massive issue with the home that will be expensive to fix.
- The buyer may realize that the home really isn’t what they want after they come down from the “adrenaline high” of getting an offer accepted in a frenzied market.
- Home prices may begin to drop drastically in a market. This causes the buyer to rethink the purchase price they’ve agreed to because they start to think they’ve made a big mistake.
- Rising interest rates make the home more expensive for the buyer with each passing week during the countdown to closing. While a house seemed like a “good deal” when interest rates were in one spot, the buyer is now looking at mortgage payments that will be several hundred dollars higher. They are also factoring in the expense of covering repairs on their own because they can’t negotiate cost based on inspection findings now that they’ve waived their inspection contingency.
There’s a pretty standard psychological phenomenon that happens once a buyer begins to wonder if waiving contingencies was the best option. First, the buyer may ask their agent if there’s anything that can be done to get out of the deal. When the agent reminds the buyer about the waived contingencies, they begin to feel disgruntled. They will talk to friends, family members, and neighbors before potentially consulting with a lawyer to see if anything can be done to get out of the deal. This is the point where buyers begin to pick apart offers and contracts to see if they can find a way out. This can be bad news for a seller because it’s possible that a buyer can find a way to get out of a contract without losing their earnest money.
What’s the Most Common Reason for Problems After Contingencies Are Waived in Pennsylvania?
The truth is that there are thousands of problems that can be uncovered during a home inspection. However, the most common defect revealed during home inspections has to do with water penetration. Disclosures provided by sellers will often state that a home has never had water penetration at any level. However, a buyer may decide that telltale clues in a home prove otherwise. This can lead to an investigation that proves that the disclosure information provided by the seller is inaccurate. Buyers can actually sue sellers for not disclosing defects if they can prove that the seller knew about the defects.
Here’s the Truth on Waiving Contingencies as a Buyer in Pennsylvania
You may feel like the only way to get an offer accepted is to waive contingencies. However, it’s important for buyers to make sure they’re making solid decisions instead of giving into pressure. After all, this is the biggest purchase you’ll probably ever make in your life.
It’s helpful to clear up some misconceptions that buyers have about waiving contingencies. The biggest myth is that you can’t have a home inspection when you waive contingencies. This actually isn’t true at all. Waiving the inspection contingency doesn’t prevent you from conducting a professional home inspection. However, what it does mean is that you cannot use the results from the inspection to negotiate terms, prices, or remedies with the seller. That means you’re taking on all financial risk associated with the condition of the property that you’ve just agreed to purchase. The cold reality of the real estate market is that sellers conceal problems all the time. It’s also possible that a well-meaning seller has no idea that expensive problems are lurking within their home’s major systems.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the rush of getting your offer accepted by waiving your inspection contingency. However, things aren’t quite as exciting once you discover that there is something terribly wrong with the property. The reason why inspection contingencies are so widely recommended is that they give you an opportunity to verify the condition of the home before signing your purchase agreement. Backing out once you’ve waived contingencies can be extremely difficult to do without losing a large amount of money.
A Hot Take on Waiving Contingencies From a Trusted Pennsylvania Home Inspection Company Serving Montgomery County, Chester County, Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Bucks County
Buyers and sellers beware! That’s the general consensus about home inspectors in the Philadelphia area these days. Here at Inspection Professionals of Huntingdon Valley, we’ve seen every conceivable issue that can go wrong with a home. That’s why we recommended that buyers and sellers stick to the time-tested tradition of having complete home inspections done prior to closing. We specialize in home inspections, water damage inspections, pest inspections, radon testing, well testing, and more for people buying homes throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Nobody has ever suffered from going into a home purchase with too much information. Our team has 30 years of home inspection experience in Pennsylvania. Contact us today to learn more about what you need from a home inspection to protect your rights as a buyer or seller.