It’s a toss-up whether the home inspection or the finance valuation induces more nail-biting.
Homebuyers, sellers and the agents involved await the results of both with a mixture of anticipation and fear.
The building inspection is optional but it is your opportunity to identify major flaws, safety matters and neglected repairs. It is the occasion to deliberately go through the home looking at everything and understanding its overall health and condition.
It’s also a time for you to get familiar with the basics of your new home. If you have never lived with a septic system or used gas appliances before, the inspection is a great opportunity to learn and ask questions or at least find out what you need to know before moving in. It also provides the opportunity to work out a future budget for other future maintenance items.
Chances are that you won’t do this again so take the time and be there in person! Wear and tear are normal. No home is perfect! You should expect to see evidence of routine maintenance. Obvious neglect by the homeowner is something you can address in any negotiation afterward.
A building inspection, however, is not a time to go to the vendor and get money back from them. It is not the chance to make a shopping list to get new taps because you found one that sticks a little when you try to turn it. It is not the ability to get a cash back or upgrade things you don’t like.
If you find major defects or things you absolutely do not want to deal with, the building inspection is your chance to walk away if you are still in the cooling -off period, but it isn’t the time to ask the sellers to remodel the home for you!
Again, if there are previously unknown major problems you are allowed to ask to sensibly re-negotiate
When faced with problems that the home inspector turns up, you, as the buyer, have several options.
First, Choose Your Battles
Understand that there are some repairs, such as electrical, roof, the HVAC system and plumbing, that you can reasonably expect the seller to make.
In fact, anything that presents a health and safety concern or that negatively impacts your use of the home is not only something that the lender may require, but that, should you walk away from the purchase, the next buyer will expect as well.
It’s the little things, though, that bog down transactions, sometimes bringing them to a halt. If you really want the home, ignore the small stuff and fight for what actually matters.
Items to ignore include anything of a cosmetic nature and problems that are inexpensive to remedy. Save your big guns for the major repairs.
Demand repairs to anything that presents a danger to health and safety, such as faulty wiring or mould.
You Have Options When Faced With An Ugly Home Inspection Report
Ask the seller to make the repairs
When faced with major repair or replacement costs, many homebuyers ask the seller to make the repairs before settlement. Often, sellers balk at the request, but once they’re reminded that the next potential buyer will most likely make the same request, they relent.
Get any agreement in writing.
Renegotiate the price
Another option is to ask your agent to amend the purchase agreement with a reduced price, reflecting the deduction for the cost of the repairs. You’ll need to get bids from contractors to determine the cost of fixing or replacing whatever is at issue.
This option depends on your current cash flow. While it lowers the cost of the home, it does nothing to put money in your pocket. So, before exercising this option, determine if you have the funds to do the work.
It’s important to work closely with your real estate agent on inspection problems, requests and remedies.
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