Once the inspection report comes back, review it thoroughly! Try not to be overwhelmed when it’s 30+ pages long with more than 25 defects that need to be repaired….this is typical. I’ve never seen an inspection report that didn’t have at least 5 items that needed repair. Remember, the home inspection is an informational report for you, the buyer. The home inspection report is NOT a to-do list for the seller. Therefore, we should really only be concerned about structural issues, safety defects, or appliances/mechanicals not working.
Tips for reading the inspection report:
- Pay particular attention to issues relating to the electrical, plumbing, roof, foundation, or water intrusion issues as these can be costly items to repair.
- If there are any costly items which are concerning to you, decide if you want to have additional inspections performed. For instance we can bring in a structural engineer, a sewer inspector, an electrician, a pest inspector, etc. If you want to bring in additional inspectors, you’ll be responsible for paying their fees.
- Make a list of items you feel the seller must repair or you’re not willing to go through with the transaction.
- Make a second list of items you’d like the seller to fix, but would be willing to still close on the house without the seller fixing.
- Make a third list of the items you’re OK with fixing yourself or feel don’t really need to be fixed.
- Once you’ve done this, email us your list and we’ll review it and suggest changes if you’re leaving out an expensive repair, not asking for enough, asking for too much, etc.
Once you’ve assessed how you would like to proceed, we can ask the sellers to repair items prior to closing, provide a credit at closing for you to fix the items after closing, or request a reduction in the purchase price. Note: credits offered at closing would go towards your closing costs, so this is the only true way for the seller to pass along the cash for the repair directly to the buyer. For instance, if we negotiate a $2,000 inspection credit that amount would come directly off your closing costs. Therefore, you’d bring to closing $2,000 less than originally expected. That way you have that $2,000 to do needed repairs after the closing.
Remember that the point of the inspection is to:
- Discover safety issues
- Check for structural issues
- Discover any obvious issues with the mechanicals… are all of the appliances working? The furnace and AC units? The hot water heater? etc.
Once we’ve agreed on a strategy, we’ll negotiate the inspection repairs with the seller’s agent. If there are only a few minor issues which need to be fixed, the negotiation will probably go quickly. However, if contractors need to be brought in to provide estimates, expect the inspection negotiations to take longer. Unfortunately, this negotiation can be a deal-killer… If you feel strongly enough that the seller should fix certain items or provide money out of their proceeds to you at closing for the repair, than you should be prepared to walk away if the seller does not agree.