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When buying a home in a competitive market, it’s tempting to make some risky decisions to make your offer seem like the best one. This could mean offering more than the asking price or a agreeing to a quick closing, or in some cases, waiving inspections. Although waiving inspections might seem like a good idea when your offer keeps getting beat out, it’s not.

While the house may look good to the eye, there are many problems the average buyer can’t detect that can cost you a lot of money down the line. For example, beyond the surface there may be problems like termites, internal leaks or asbestos. No matter how much you want the house, do not make an offer without having it thoroughly inspected. Here are some solutions to satisfy your need to inspect while remaining timely and competitive.

Pre-sale Inspection

If you really love this house, have it inspected before you make an offer or sign a contract. Although you might end up spending a few hundred dollars on a house you don’t end up purchasing, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If the house ends up passing inspection, now you can waive your inspection contingency.

Seller Inspection

A seller will often have his or her property inspected before putting it up for sale. This way the seller can fix any issues before listing, or tell buyers upfront what they are getting.  This protects the seller from future negotiations as well as allows proper pricing of the home. The only issue with this is that the inspector is liable to the seller only, the person who ordered and paid for the inspection. This means you have no say if the inspector missed something.

Quick Inspection Contingency

Sellers like to keep the process moving, so there is usually a small window of time between when offers are due and a deal starts to move forward. When you need to get your offer in quickly and there’s no time to inspect, write a one- or two-day inspection contingency into your offer. This gives the seller comfort knowing the sale won’t lose momentum, and you’ll have peace of mind, too. If you are working with a good local agent, he or she should be able find an inspector for you in no time.

If you feel yourself getting caught up in the bidding war, keep in mind the bigger picture. You are purchasing a large asset, and you do not want to find yourself in debt due to a pricey problem you missed by waiving the inspection.

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