It’s important to understand what a home inspection is all about. A homebuyer should always hire a home inspector to learn about the home they are about to purchase. After the inspection is complete, an inspection report outlining the results and findings will be presented. Reports commonly include a breakdown of a number of recommendations including improvements, repairs, and safety upgrades to the home. There are four common outcomes of a home inspection.
1. Renegotiate the Price
The results of a home inspection may lead to a renegotiation of the purchase price. If the buyer and seller can agree to a fair price reduction based on the findings of the report, this is a favourable option for both parties. It allows the buyer to hire their own trusted professional to oversee the repairs instead of leaving it in the hands of the seller. It is also favourable for the seller as it takes the responsibility to arrange the repairs and the quality of the repairs off their plate. It’s important to remember that this option is only viable if the buyers have the resources to pay for the repairs after the transaction is complete.
2. Terminate the Purchase Agreement
If the buyers and sellers cannot come to a mutual agreement in regards to the price and/or the items that need to be fixed, the agreement may be terminated. This commonly happens when the buyer feels there are too many issues with the home and does not feel comfortable moving forward with the purchase.
3. Ask the Seller to Perform Repairs
This is a common option when the issues found in the inspection report are relatively minor (for example loose toilets, trim back vegetation, replace bulbs, no working outlets, replace water heater).
Buyers please remember when asking a seller to perform any repairs that it’s best to be as specific and detailed as possible. Mention exactly what, who and when the work should be completed by, and request documentation be provided by a certain date. Ideally 14 to 21 days prior to completion is best. Request a walk through to confirm work is completed to the agreeable terms that was set out in the contract.
4. Do Nothing
Depending on the variables mentioned and the severity of the issues presented in the inspection report this is often the most popular option for buyers. When purchasing a home that has been lived in buyers shouldn’t expect things to be perfect, because they never are. This doesn’t mean buyers shouldn’t address major defects or issues that may not have been disclosed because the sellers had no knowledge prior to the inspection. However, it is unrealistic to expect sellers of a used houses to repair every little defect. Asking sellers to address a long list of minor repairs could make the seller feel defensive about their home just as a seller refusing to address any issues may have buyers feeling defensive about spending hard earned money and not getting the house in the condition they originally thought.
As a buyer you should only move forward when you feel 100% comfortable. Review the report with your agent and discuss options you feel confident with. When you are a seller review the report or requests with your agent and try to do so with an unbiased opinion.
Reviewing the options with your agent will help create solutions that are a win/win for both parties. Have questions about home inspections or want a referral for a trusted inspector? Contact me!