Homebuying is a time filled with excitement, but it can quickly turn to disappointment with a bad inspection.
You’ve spent countless hours updating your home buying app, going to showings, and signing paperwork. When an offer goes in, your at the edge of your seat waiting to see if it goes through. When the seller accepts, you think, “Well, this is it! We finally get to move.”
As a diligent buyer, you made sure to not waive your rights for an inspection. Once the inspection is completed and the report is returned, your excitement can quickly turn into disappointment and stress.
Sellers also find home inspections to be nerve-wracking. In many cases, they believe they have a wonderful home but are unaware of problems that could be lurking below the surface. Until they see the repair requests.
So, now the big question: who pays for the repairs?
We all want our real estate transactions to go smoothly. We all want to move on to the next chapter of our lives with ease. Inspection report findings can complicate the deal or end it completely, but repairs can also be negotiated successfully.
Responding to a home inspection report can make or break the deal. Read on to learn who is required to pay for repairs and which repairs are necessary.
Responding To a Home Inspection Report with Confidence
A buyer and a seller both need to know how to negotiate repairs. Knowing who should pay for the repairs is also vital and reassuring to both parties. Explore the following ways to respond to an inspection report when deciding who should pay for what.
1. Understanding the Inspection Report
Before you consider asking a seller to fix a certain repair, understand the inspection report.
Your inspector will label each problem area, take photos, and explain their recommendations. The report and the inspector should also indicate which fixes are safety concerns. If you have any questions about the inspection report, make sure to ask the inspector.
Additionally, inspectors don’t offer price quotes or advice on whether or not you should purchase the home based on the repairs needed. They simply provide you with the repairs needed and their recommendations. If you have questions about how much a repair will cost, then you may need to complete some research or contact a contractor to get a quote.
2. Speak with Your Realtor
A reputable real estate agent will be able to guide you through the repair negotiation process. If they are experienced, it’s likely that they will have seen similar repairs needed in the past.
While real estate agents aren’t contractors, they do have a good idea of what repairs are costly and which aren’t. A good real estate agent will have your best interests at heart, so it’s okay to trust their judgment.
Ultimately, you know your finances best. If you know that you can’t afford a certain repair, then now is the time to ask for the seller to pay for it. If the inspection report finds more repairs than you’re comfortable with then feel free to cancel the purchase agreement if your contract allows you to.
3. What Repairs the Seller Should Make
If the inspection report is thoroughly understood and the buyer is ready to talk repairs, then it’s best to know who needs to fix what.
The seller is only required to make repairs so long as the financing requires. The mortgage company will do their own appraisal. If they find a necessary repair, they will require it to be fixed in order for financing to go through.
Necessary repairs include structural problems, building code violations, and safety hazards.
The mortgage company will likely not see the inspection report, however. As a seller though, if the deal falls through because serious repairs are needed then the next time you list it you will need to disclose this information. In the long run, you will likely be losing money by lowering the price of your home.
As a seller, you could also relist the property “as is” and hope for the best, but taking care of repairs with your current buyer could be your best option depending on the price of the repairs.
If a big ticket item such as structural concerns, roof, or mechanical systems are flagged on the inspection report then buyers will likely ask the seller to make these repairs. You are not obligated as a seller to make these repairs, but it’s likely in your best interest to do.
4. Repairs the Buyer Should Be Responsible For
Buyers must understand that no house is perfect. If you have a great inspector, they will thoroughly do their job so that you know exactly what you’re buying into.
With that said, it doesn’t mean that all of these items on the inspection report are worth asking to be repaired. Small ticket items such as appliances, carpet, and small holes in the walls are likely to be denied by the seller.
These small ticket items don’t hinder the function and safety of the home. Thus, they are not necessary repairs to ask for. Sure, you can always ask for these repairs to be completed, but don’t expect the seller to agree.
Try to separate the home buying and repair process from your long-term goal. It’s never fun to feel like there’s more work to be done after you move in, but remember no home is perfect. If you let this house go because of low-cost repairs, then be aware that the next home could require the same amount of repairs or be less of your dream home than the previous one.
Feeling More Confident About Responding to a Home Inspection Report?
Responding to a home inspection report can add more stress to an already stressful process. Remember to always consider the long-term consequences when agreeing or disagreeing to certain repairs. Sellers don’t have to make any repairs unless the financing company requires it, but that doesn’t mean as a buyer you shouldn’t ask.
If the repairs are too costly and the seller refuses to fix them, then it’s best to walk away. Always keep in touch with your real estate agent to make sure the contract is being followed tediously. Repair requests, responses, and the repairs themselves usually need to be completed within the time restraints outlined by the contract.
Need a home inspection? If you live in Northeast Ohio, schedule a home inspection with us today so we can provide you with a detailed report that can help you make the best decision possible!