Have a home inspection without placing a contingency in the contract

I want a home inspection, but I don’t want to put a contingency in my offer. How can I have it both ways?

Since inventory is low in the DC area, most potential buyers do not want to remit an offer that has any contingencies. Many buyers find themselves in a multiple contract deal and their agents let them know (and rightly so) that any contingencies in their offer may make the offer less desirable when competing for a property. 

So, how does a buyer get a home inspection and still make a solid offer?  

Some of the agents in the area are requesting a pre-inspection with a termite inspection for purchaser’s purposes only. The inspections are only so the purchasers get an idea of what they may be signing up for if they put in an offer for the house “as-is” as of the date of the pre-inspection without an inspection contingency. 

This type of contract tends to be a stronger contract for the sellers too, because the purchasers already have an understanding of the condition of the house and are not solely relying on disclosures. 

The down side to handling everything this way is there is an expense to getting the property inspected without knowing if the seller will accept your offer. 

Depending on the property, there is another approach agents are taking. They do a thorough walk through of the property with their clients at the open houses; and, if all looks good, the purchasers buy a home warranty at settlement to cover anything they may have missed. 

Purchasers should make sure they have a clear understanding when they are buying a house “as-is” without an inspection – they may be taking on conditions they did not anticipate. They should also make sure to read the seller disclosures thoroughly and know what a home warranty may or may not cover.

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