Mandatory home inspections may be coming to NY

My wife’s niece is trying to find a house on Long Island. She and her husband are on their third house, in this effort. They have sent me their inspection reports. I’ve had some issues with the inspections and reports, but that can be with any inspector anywhere. For instance, not one of their three inspectors recommended a sewer scope. Man! That is so different from what we do around here.
Of course, there are plenty of inspectors (some on this forum) who don’t think I do things the way they think they should be done.
The biggest difference that I am referring to is that in New York, my wife’s niece is doing the inspection before they have the house under contract! In most states, a buyer gets the house locked up and under contract and then does the inspection. In NY, they find a house, tour the house and decide they want to move forward with it. They do an inspection before making an offer, much less having the house under contract. Then, they negotiate with the seller and arrive at a mutually agreed price and terms. Then, the parties have their attorneys, draw up the contract. Then the parties sign it and finally get the house under contract. Another buyer, particularly an aggressive one, can step in and while the first buyer is slogging through this process and snatch the house and the buyer has just wasted their money on the inspection. An aggressive buyer might not bother with the inspection or negotiation and just tell the seller, “draw up the contract and I’ll sign it.”

Sure, buyers spend money on houses that they don’t buy anywhere, but in most states, they are under contract during the inspection and the house is not available to another buyer to snatch from them.

All houses in Colorado, per the Contract to Purchase, are sold “as-is.” That hasn’t slowed down or reduced inspections or prevented negotiating defects found during inspections. Buyers can terminate the contract because of defects found during the inspection. The “as-is” qualifier means the seller is not forced to fix anything, but does not prevent a seller from agreeing to fix something to keep the buyer and transaction.

But these people really did have a choice, they could just not buy the home if they didn’t like the no inspection clause.

That sounds like a free market system to me. The aggressive person accepts the risk and proceeds accordingly.

Here in NJ we do things the traditional way you’ve mentioned. Offer, signed contract, inspections, etc.

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I know. I do not disagree. However, sometimes, people are in the market for reasons that are not in their control: job relocation, healthcare, family needs, etc. Renting is not always an option.

You’ll never meet anyone who wants government out of my life more than me. I was just pointing out that the bill may have good intentions (or maybe more nefarious ones). In the end, the government will overstep, screw it up and likely make it a gateway bill to reward their donors.

I agree I see this as good intentioned but also as a large government overreach. It’s a slippery slope when you’re injecting government mandates into the real estate transaction. Bottom line is you can’t have it both ways, if it’s truly a free market system then the seller should have to the right to list the property with a clause stating that no inspections will be permitted.

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So, the inspection is the default. It’s happening. The seller can’t stop it. The agents can’t stop it. The buyer’s offer can’t be refused because of it. And the buyer can only buy a home without an inspection if he/she waives it within 10 days. That’s about as “mandatory” as you can legally get.

You can’t force an American to buy a service from a private party unless you are OBomba forcing Americans to buy health insurance. That’s the only exception the Supreme Court permitted.

I concur.
Thank you, Scott.

Scott answered that question. “Keep in mind this does not make inspections a mandatory requirement but only that the seller can not object to an inspection or make waiving one part of a contact.”

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This isn’t mandatory. This is the language used…

  1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require, mandate or otherwise compel a prospective purchaser to obtain an inspection following the acceptance by the seller of an offer to purchase. The prospective purchaser’s right to obtain an inspection shall expire if no inspection occurs within ten days, or longer as agreed upon by the seller and perspective purchaser in writing, of the seller’s acceptance of a prospective purchaser’s offer to purchase.
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Loop-holey crap, batman!
If this is a trend, I don’t celebrate it. State mandates favor bigger chains more than they favor my solo business. All government action favors centralization and (eventually) oligarchy. It also favors formulaic approaches that put us closer and closer to code inspectors. I did not get into this business to be a line judge.

I’m still trying to unwrap who this actually benefits? No one is holding a gun to the buyers head and forcing them to buy a particular property that may have a no inspection restriction. Hopefully this dies as it should. Another example of more government not being good government.

This is a service that I subscribe to that provides details on proposed legislation around the country. This is for NY, it came out today, it is very unlikely this bill will go anywhere:

NY – Hundreds of bills await final votes this week in Albany as lawmakers enter the homestretch of the two-year legislative session, which is scheduled to adjourn Thursday. Among the major bills fighting for consideration this week are measures on social media restrictions for minors, plastics recycling mandates, gas heating requirements, and a bill to make fossil fuel companies pay a total of $75 billion for the cost to the state of adapting to climate change. Read more


I’m not saying the way NY does real estate transactions is not free market or even bad. But I do think that offer, under-contract, then inspection is safer for buyers. The NY way, arguably is better for sellers, because they know what the buyer wants them to do about deficiencies before they agree to accept the contract to purchase.

Are there states where a seller can just tell a buyer they cannot do an inspection and the buyer is still forced to buy the house?
In the states that I am familiar with, if the seller says “NO” to the inspection, the buyer can withdraw without penalty from the transaction or knows that they will not be allowed to do the inspection before making their offer.
The size of the hammer that will pound a seller, who refused an inspection and did not disclose material defects, into poverty is massive.

Lon, I started inspecting 1989, doing inspections prior to making offer was common and it was much more efficient process. The Realtors caught on around 1992 and ruined real home inspections.

You are an elder statesman of our biz. But gotta say I don’t think agents ruined real home inspections. The inspectors and inspections that I watched in the 80’s were not as comprehensive as most inspections today. An inspector I worked with in the 80’s had a 3 1/2 page simple checklist report and he was a darn good inspector by the standards of the time. Of course, there were some inspectors doing more back then, but not many. Not a knock on any of them. They were the pioneers who made up the foundation of what has become our business today. Not every change in our biz is for the best, but in general, more inspectors are doing better inspections than ever, IMHO.

Lon, I miss real inspections, used to do plans for decks for buyers, advise on costs also when doing inspections I could tell the client, “ hey give me till end of week and I’ll get specs and costs for you on doing decks or additions. Of course I was paid for that and guess what those were days of having 20 days for due diligence or more, but the best was doing inspections prior to offers, absolutely no problems with any one. I was lucky to have learned building construction before starting inspections. No Realtor hanging over shoulder saying or interfere. Miss the googol days.