Negotiations are common after a home inspection, and the inspector is often caught in the middle – often through their own fault. It is not within the purview of an inspector to determine what should or shouldn’t be negotiated- that’s a job for the real estate agent.
It’s important to know what a home inspection is and is not. A buyer hires a home inspector to learn about the home, and the inspection report details the results of the inspection. The inspection report is not a repair list for the seller, nor is it a lever for strong-arming the seller into renegotiating the price. Issues that come up during a home inspection may be negotiable, but there are no hard and fast rules about repairs that sellers need to complete as a result of a home inspection. When defects are found during the inspection, the buyer has four options.
Renegotiate the price
The buyers can use the savings on the purchase price to hire their own professionals to do the work after they own the house.
Ask the seller to complete the repairs
When asking a seller to perform repairs, it’s important to be specific. Describe in detail what should be done. Insist that a licensed professional be engaged and that all required permits are pulled and the work inspected and approved by the local municipal building inspector.
Cancel the deal
When buyers decide there are too many issues with the house, the issues are more complex than they can handle or find the seller unwilling to negotiate, they may decide to move on.
This is often the best option for buyers. When buying a home, don’t expect things to be perfect, because they never are. This doesn’t mean buyers shouldn’t ask for serious issues to be corrected but it’s unrealistic to expect sellers to fix every little defect. Asking them to address a long list of minor repairs will put them on the defensive, make you look petty and squander any good will you’ve developed to this point. Stuff happens and when you get to the closing you may regret having created an adversarial relationship.
By: Bern Galat, Principal, Spyglass Home Inspections