Tag Archives: Home Inspections

The Home Inspection Trap

7 Mar

MetroBoston Publication Date February 27, 2013
By Attorney George Warshaw

Professional home inspectors often unearth defects easily overlooked by the untrained eye. Don’t pass on a home inspection before buying a house or condo just because it looks good or is newly built or renovated.

The inspection is usually conducted after the offer is accepted but before the purchase and sale agreement is signed. Nearly all preprinted offers contain “an inspection contingency” giving the buyer the right to cancel the purchase based on the results of the inspection.

Be careful how it’s worded – there may be a trap.

Many of these preprinted forms only give the buyer the right to cancel if there are “serious structural or mechanical defects,” whatever that means, or put a limit on the amount of repairs required that permit you to cancel; i.e., “negotiate.”

That’s not good enough in my view.

Don’t hesitate to cross it out and simply make your offer subject to an inspection that is satisfactory to you. It’s your offer – and your right to control how it’s worded. 

Be a smart buyer. Get an inspection before buying, and make it satisfactory to you – and if you’re selling, consider hiring an inspector to flush out your problems before you put your home on the market. © 2013 George Warshaw.

George Warshaw is a well-known attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions. Contact him at metro@warshawlaw.com.




What’s Often Overlooked in a Home Inspection

6 Jun

Metro®Boston, Publication Date: June 6, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

A home inspection is a “must” for a person buying a home or a condo, even if (and sometimes especially if) the home or condo is brand new.

Too often home buyers bemoan after the purchase that the broker advised them that an inspection wasn’t needed because the home or condo was brand new. Just because a new home or newly renovated home or condo is new doesn’t mean the work was done right, or the appliances, plumbing or electricals were properly connected and functioning.

I love reviewing an inspection report that uses digital photographs with big red circles to pinpoint problems requiring repair. So much of time wasted in a purchase is spent trying to describe what needs to be done or arguing over whether the condition is a problem.

A photograph with a nice red circle indicating the problem often ends the discussion and simplifies getting a quote from a repair person.

Here’s my suggestion in interviewing an inspector: ask if the report will contain digital photographs of the problems encountered; or better yet, ask if you can review an existing report online to get a sense of the quality of the inspector’s work.

George Warshaw is a real estate and estate planning attorney in Massachusetts. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts for individuals and families. George welcomes new clients and questions at metro@warshawlaw.com.


Legal Advice: Laws, and court decisions interpreting them, change frequently and this article is not updated as laws change. The content and information contained in this article is neither intended as legal advice nor shall establish an attorney-client relationship.