Yesterday, we talked about what to expect from your home inspection and the report you’ll receive afterward. Once you have your report in hand, you’ll want to discuss it in detail with your Realtor, who can advise you on how to proceed.
A good inspection report should be extremely thorough (one might even say nitpicky), so as a buyer, your best strategy is not to overwhelm the seller with too many requests or demands for repairs. If any health and safety issues pop up in the report, such as mold, radon gas, or damaged structural elements, those are definitely points you should raise with the seller right away. If the problems are severe enough, you may want to back out of the deal entirely, but if you still want the home, your best bet is to either ask the seller to complete the necessary repairs before closing (make sure you get receipts!), or ask for a reduction in the purchase price or credit at closing to enable you to complete the repairs yourself. More minor issues should be considered as part of your new homeowner’s “to do list,” and this is where the inspection report can help you decide what to prioritize once you move in.
Some homes, particularly short sales and foreclosures, are sold “as is,” meaning that the seller will not agree to perform any repairs or make any price reductions based on the inspection findings. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to pay special attention to the inspection report, since all of the necessary repairs will be your responsibility. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, an “as is” home can be a great bargain, but you’ll want to make extra sure you know what you’re getting into.
I hope this week’s series on home inspections has been useful! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or just want to talk real estate – I’m always available to help.