MA home inspector warns buyers against waiving inspections

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Jameson Malgeri has seen a lot of scary things in his six years as a Massachusetts home inspector, including termites, melted wires and gas leaks.

But Malgeri, a director with the New England chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors, said the new trend of potential buyers removing their home inspection contingency is just as alarming.

“We are stockpiling horror stories of waived inspections with unfortunate consequences for our clients,” Malgeri said. “If you’re not going to do any inspection, you’re risking your safety because you’re running the chance there’s something wrong in your house.”

Malgeri contacted Boston 25 News after he watched our May 3 report on the Massachusetts housing market. First-time home buyers shared their struggles with trying to keep up in an ultra-competitive field. March 2021 marked a four-year high for the month of March in Massachusetts single-family home sales, according to The Warren Group, a Peabody-based real estate tracking company.

The median sale price for a single-family home in Massachusetts is $460,000, a 14.4% increase from March 2020, the company said in an Apr. 22 news release. There were 3,849 single-family home sales recorded in Massachusetts in March, a 2.5% increase from March 2020, the company said.

Boston 25 director Emily Murphy said she’s made 21 separate offers since 2019 and was outbid on all but one. Murphy said a sellers’ realtor once explained to her what it was going to take to compete.

“Cash offers first, waived inspections next, and they just listed out for me like how they present it to their sellers,” Murphy said. “We would waive inspection, and I’m pretty sure my father-in-law cringed every time I told him that. But it’s what we thought we had to do to get a house,”

“A buyer, if they want to compete, might want to consider it,” said Kevin Vitali, a realtor in northeast Massachusetts.

Vitali said he had a client make an offer $100,000 over the asking price in Andover. The offer wasn’t accepted Vitali said because the buyer refused to waive the home inspection.

“As an agent that represents buyers and their best interest, I have a hard time recommending they don’t have a home inspection. But on the other hand, I’m there to help them get an offer accepted, so it is something we talk about,” Vitali said.

Vitali said some buyers are opting for pre-offer inspections or negotiating home inspection addendums with the seller that would put a limit on any repairs that may need to be made.

“It’s really the buyers that are dictating it,” Vitali said. “Most of my buyers are coming to me thinking they may have to remove their home inspection contingency. It’s going to be a strong consideration if you want to be competitive.”

Malgeri doesn’t know what the tipping point may be but worries someone will get hurt or face devastating financial consequences.

“The two main ones that worry me are significant safety hazards or really costly items,” Malgeri said. “We just see things every day that are scary problems to see.”