A BAD IDEA.
Unless you are a professional engineer or architect, what do you know about houses? Is the electricity up to code? Does the HVAC system work? Are the joists that seem to be holding up the basement ceiling adequate? You are investing in what may be the biggest purchase of your life; don’t take a chance that something — possibly something major — could go wrong soon after you take title. If a seller is not willing to let you have 10 to 17 days after signing the sales contract to have a professional inspector carefully go over every detail in the property, my advice is to look elsewhere.
What about the escalation clause? In most parts of the country, the potential buyer makes an offer, and the seller has three options: accept, reject or counter. You put in an offer of $450,000. The seller gets another offer with similar terms but a price of $452,000. Sorry, you lose.
How do you try to protect yourself? You include in the offer a statement that you will pay $1,000 more than the highest offer, subject however to a cap of $456,000.
But be sure to include important provisions in your escalation clause. You want proof that there is a real, higher-priced offer against which you’re competing. You should review a copy of the other offer; the buyer’s name and other personal information can be removed.