Home Inspections

Home Inspections

Whether you are buying or selling a house, the home inspection is an important part of the process.

Buyers – It is highly suggested that you have the home inspected by a professional before sealing the deal.  However, know that the seller is not obligated to accept your repair requests unless they pertain to safety or major home functionality

Sellers – Expect the buyer to have the property inspected, so it can save time and money to proactively get the house in the best condition possible, unless you are willing to sacrifice premium purchasing price.

 

Common Misconceptions

The seller is NOT legally required to fix any defects unearthed during the home inspection EXCEPT what is specifically stated by law (termite infestation, mold, dry wrought, etc.)

Both buyer AND seller should be represented at the home inspection.  Some sellers think that the home inspection is just for the buyer, but it is important for the seller or the listing agent to be present at the inspection to witness what the inspector finds, otherwise, buyers may make repair requests that never came up during the inspection.

The home inspection should not be used explicitly as bargaining leverage.  Once the buyer and seller are at this point in negotiation, both parties are seriously interested in completing the transaction at hand.  If buyers are over-zealous or knit-picky with their repair requests, the whole process can be derailed, and no one wants that.

 

Buyers – Repair Request Do’s and Dont’s

The home inspection is to assess the safety and functionality of the house.  Buyers should NOT make requests that pertain to minor defects, cosmetic/aesthetic concerns, or generally anything that is cheap to fix.  While a seller might acquiesce some of these minor requests, it is more likely that they will decline (as they are not bound to do so) and the requests will just serve to stand between both parties coming to a timely and satisfying agreement.

Buyers SHOULD make repair requests for any significant structural, electrical, or plumbing related issues discovered in the inspection.  Buyers SHOULD also make requests pertaining to major water issues, from a leaking roof to runoff and drainage issues, as this can negatively impact the integrity of the structure.  Finally, buyers SHOULD ask sellers to fix problems of insect or animal infestation, or mold/dry wrought growth.

 

Sellers – Inspection Preparation and Request Treatment

Assume that the buyer will have the home inspected, so don’t try to hide something, as you will more than likely be forced to reckon with the problem, and it is generally better to fix things on your own terms, rather than following a direct request from a buyer.

Hopefully you have already or are in the process of dealing with any minor or cheap-to-fix home defects, as this will improve the marketability of your home and streamline all processes going forwards.  However, many sellers choose to put their house on the market “as is”.

While sellers are legally bound to fix major structural or otherwise safety-related issues with the house, sellers are not obligated to make any sort of minor or cosmetic repair, even if directly requested by a buyer.  Be aware that any home defect, however minor, may decrease the value of your property in the eyes of buyers, so expect the home to sell for less or take more time to sell if you choose to leave obvious defects as they are.

 

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