Selling a home is stressful. There’s a lot of work involved. One thing you’ll have to go through is a home inspection.
If it comes out clean or with minor issues, it’s no big deal. But a bad home inspection report can make selling your home much more difficult.
Whether you’re afraid of a bad home inspection or you’ve just received a home inspection report that wasn’t what you were expecting, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn what to do if you’ve received a bad inspection report.
Common Repairs Listed on a Bad Home Inspection Report
Home inspectors are looking to ensure that your home is safe and in good standing. The seller needs to know exactly what they’re purchasing.
Sometimes, you’re already aware that some things need fixing. Other times, it catches you by surprise. The most common repairs listed on a home inspection report are things like your roof is leaking, missing shingles or you need a full replacement.
Perhaps the electrical wiring in your home isn’t up to code or is frayed. Plumbing issues are also common with leaking pipes, and water heaters or pipes which need replacing.
A cracking or sinking foundation is also a huge red flag on a home report. It could mean future flooding in basements and crawl spaces. Damage to your chimney could also be problematic.
Termites or damage caused by other types of vermin or bugs can also wreak havoc on your home and your health. So can mold, asbestos, and/or the presence of lead paint. Inspectors also commonly find broken doors and windows which need fixing or replacing.
It’s Not Just the Big Issues Inspectors are Looking For
However, inspectors will go through your home with a fine-toothed comb. It’s not just for the big-ticket items like your roof they’re reporting on, it’s also to ensure little things like your smoke detectors are in good working order.
Don’t be surprised if the list is longer than you expected. Everything from minor dings to major cracks will be on this list.
You Don’t Have to Fix Everything on a Home Inspection Report
The good news is that you don’t have to fix literally everything on your home inspection report. Sellers are looking for you to fix the important ones like ensuring the roof won’t cave in on them as they’re moving in.
Cosmetic issues like a deck that could use another staining or a wall could use some spackle are things the seller can fix themselves. In some cases, they might prefer to.
Minor issues that cost under $100 to fix can also be ignored as can windows with failed seals. Loose fixtures, small cracks, and other small and often cosmetic issues also don’t need to be fixed.
You also have more wiggle room if you’re a seller in a seller’s market. Buyers have much less room to haggle over smaller issues in a seller’s market since you could simply say no and wait until another, less demanding buyer comes along.
How to Handle a Bad Home Inspection Report
If you receive a really long list, take a deep breath. It may look daunting, but most of these issues are probably things you can tackle yourself like painting or purchasing a new carbon monoxide detector.
Even if you do receive a home inspection report with expensive repairs listed, it’s also not the end of the world. You do have choices.
Don’t panic since that won’t help anything. Instead, contact your real estate agent. She or he can help you determine your next best steps.
It may be that the repairs are minor and you can fix them yourself. Perhaps it’s just a matter of calling in the right professionals to fix the issues.
You also have the choice of not fixing anything and leaving it to the buyer to deal with. In this case, you would have to adjust the price of your home accordingly.
It’s important to note that you will have to disclose your inspection report to every potential buyer.
The Next Steps to Take After a Home Inspection
It’s best for the seller to be present during the home inspection. That’s because, like every other professional, they’re concerned with liability.
In other words, while you may only have a small amount of mold in one area of your carpet, the report may read that you need to replace the entire carpet. Being with the inspector helps you to understand what they are saying in their report and where they found problems.
Once the inspector has provided you with the report, carefully look it over. Assess how much of the work you’re willing to complete after the closing of escrow. Take into account both the cost and inconvenience to you.
Get at least three contractor’s to place bids for the repair(s) you need completing. See if you can cut costs by hiring one professional to do all the work.
Talk to your realtor and have them approach the sellers to request them to pay a closing cost credit. This can free up some of your cash to put towards repairs to be done post-closing.
Once you’ve received all of the above information, it will put you in a position to make a smart decision whether or not to go ahead with the sale of your home. You may find that right now, it’s not economically worth it to sell your home.
But at least you have come to this understanding by doing proper research and gathering the correct information rather than simply freaking out and shutting down.
Hire the Best Inspector
No one wants a bad home inspection report. If you already know you have large structural issues you have to deal with, start taking steps to fix them before they become even bigger problems.
And when it’s time to hire an inspector, make sure they’re a member of ASHI in good standing.
As a member of ASHI and a home inspector with over 30 years of experience, Scott provides detailed, honest reports. When you’re ready for your home inspection, click here to schedule your appointment.