Once the general home inspection has been completed you can usually expect the report to be emailed to you within 24 hours. Make sure that you review this report very carefully. At this point we will determine if we need to arrange for other inspectors or contractors to come out for additional inspections or quotes.
Don’t be overwhelmed with this lengthy report. Most reports have at least 25 pages or more and oftentimes there are 10-20 items that are considered “issues”. Very seldom do we have reports with just a few items of concern. The inspector WILL find items to add to the report (ie: they want to justify the cost of the inspection. 🙂
Remember, this report is for informational purposes for you, the buyer, not a To-Do List for the seller. There’s a big difference between minor cosmetic issues such as discolored caulking or a broken oven door handle and major issues such as moisture damage from a leaky roof or an inoperable septic system. See the difference? We need to focus on the structural issues, safety issues, or appliances/mechanical aspects of the home that are not working properly. Here are my tips for analyzing the report:
- Pay close attention to any items addressing structural issues with the roof, electrical, plumbing, water intrusion/moisture damage, or foundation.
- If there are any issues related to the previous bullet-point, you may want to consider having additional inspectors or contractors go to the property. We can arrange for a roofing contractor, air quality inspector, structural engineer, electrician, etc to take a look. You will be responsible for paying any additional inspectors/contractors.
- Make a list of items you feel the seller must repair in order for you to stay in the deal.
- Make another list of items that you’d like the seller to repair but they are not deal breakers.
- Make a third list of items you’re willing to repair yourself or live with as-is.
- Once you completed these lists, please send them to me via email and I will review them. I’ll also tell you if I think you’re missing something important, if you’re asking for too much or not enough, and if I think the loan will be affected by any items in need of repair. If so, we will definitely ask for those items. Of course, this all depends on your loan type.
- Keep in mind that we can ask for repairs but the sellers are not required to make the repairs. In my experience, if we are realistic in our requests sellers will usually try to accommodate. Not always, but most oftentimes if it’s not too expensive they will at least consider.
- Alternatively, we can ask for a reduction in sales price or a closing cost credit. A seller credit basically means that if you were planning to bring $8000 to closing but the sellers agreed to credit you $2000 at closing in lieu of repairs, then you would show up to closing with $6000. You would then have $2000 left to make the necessary repairs. If we ask for a reduction in sales price it will lower your overall debt but the money you take to the closing table won’t change that much. Watch this 5 minute video for a breakdown.
- One last thing to mention, as part of the inspection negotiations we can ask the sellers to provide a one-year Home Warranty. Sometimes there are items in question that may not necessarily need to be replaced because they are functioning properly, but look like their best days are behind them. In this case, just to be safe, you might want to ask the sellers to provide a one-year home warranty that covers several components of the home for approximately $500. They don’t have to replace those “tired” components and you won’t be left without a plan should something break down a week after you move in. For more information regarding the Home Warranty read this blog post. Let me know if you’d like to ask the sellers for a Home Warranty.
Remember that you should focus on:
- Structural Items
- Safety Issues
- Mechanicals/Appliances that are not working properly
Once we’ve agreed on a strategy, I will draft the response to inspections to send to the listing agent. If it’s a relatively easy request, we might get the sellers response right away. However, if there are items that will require the seller to gather estimates for the requested repairs, it could take up to 72 hours to hear back.
If we are able to come to an agreement with the seller, both parties will agree in writing. If the seller is making repairs, those repairs will be completed at least 5 days prior to closing and we will be given photos and/or receipts verifying repairs were made.
If we are unable to come to an agreement, you have the right to terminate the agreement and get your deposit money back.
Let me know if you have any questions! I’m just a phone call away…