What Happens After the Home Inspection?
There is a time frame in having a home inspection done. Usually, the sale contract will allow about 10 days to have the inspection completed and to respond with any concerns. After the home inspection, if any defects are found in areas like the plumbing, furnace, wiring, etc, it is a good time to have these items fixed or choose to walk away.
Trust Your Home Inspector
Your inspection report will generally include a summary sheet. This is where you will find the items your professional home inspector thinks needs corrected right away. The rest of the report is informational and will give you more details. If you have questions about the report, call your home inspector. They will help clarify what they mean and how serious the problem really is. Home Inspectors look at everything with a critical eye and see problems in every home, even those in good repair or newly built. They will be happy to explain their report to you.
After you have your home inspection report, there may be repairs you would like the Seller to fix. Your real estate agent will write a repair addendum to send to the seller’s agent. This form allows you to make repair requests, attempt to renegotiate the price based on the inspection or get out of the contract entirely.
If you are buying a foreclosure or a short sale, the Seller probably won’t fix anything. They may consider a price reduction though. This might be a good option if you have the funds to complete the repairs yourself.
Some major issues can affect your ability to get homeowner’s insurance. Old wiring can be seen as a red flag. Some insurers won’t cover the home without these repairs being done. You need home insurance before you can close on the home. Do not worry about any small repairs that can you can do after closing. Your home will always have those minor repairs that need to be done. Focus on the large repairs that could affect you in a major way. This is the time to worry about the larger issues like a roof or furnace.
Seller’s Response to Addendum
The seller usually has a set number of days specified to respond to your realtor’s repair addendum. The seller will usually come back saying they will do certain repairs but not others. You can agree to their offer and move forward toward closing. Occasionally a seller will refuse to repair anything. If this happens you can accept that and still move forward, send a counteroffer accepting the house as is, at a reduced price or you can walk away. If there are major repairs to be done, it could be best to walk away and look for another home.
If you choose to ask for a reduced price, have your agent forward a copy of the inspection along with your reduced price offer. Having the home inspection report will show the seller there are justifiable reasons for the offer and a lot of expenses they won’t have to deal with themselves. This inspection report will also make them aware of problems in the house that would have to be disclosed to any future potential buyers. The seller may be more inclined to give you the reduced price than scare away other potential buyers with disclosures of already known problems.