Congratulations, you’ve found your dream home, made an offer, and had a home inspection. But what if that inspection uncovers some unexpected problems? Don’t panic; it’s not uncommon for inspections to reveal issues, and there are steps you can take to address them.
In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of what to do if your home inspection reveals some problems.
1. Review the Inspection Report Thoroughly
Your first step is to carefully review the inspection report. If you don’t understand your home inspection, you can find more information in our blog, “How to Read a Home Inspection Report.” This report provides a detailed account of the home inspector’s findings, including any issues or concerns they identified. Pay close attention to the severity of the problems and ask the inspector for clarification if needed. Not all problems are equal; some may be minor, while others could be deal-breakers.
2. Prioritize the Issues
Once you’ve reviewed the report, prioritize the issues based on their significance and potential impact. Identify which problems are safety hazards or structural concerns, and which are cosmetic or minor maintenance items. This will help you make informed decisions about how to proceed. If you’re not sure how serious a problem is, consider contacting a specialist to examine the situation and provide further information.
It would be beneficial if you additionally examined the cost of repairs, the age of the building, and the potential for other problems. For example, if it is discovered that your structural supports need repairs, it is important to assess the cost and determine if it fits within your budget. Neglecting these issues could result in higher costs in the future, potentially prolonging the closing process or even putting the sale at risk.
When deciding how to proceed, consider the big picture. Are you getting a fair deal on the property, even with the repairs factored in? Is the location, size, and layout of the home still a good fit for your needs? Sometimes, the overall value of the home outweighs the inconvenience of addressing some issues.
3. Request Repairs or Credits
Depending on the severity of the issues, you may want to request repairs or credits from the seller. If you’re working with a real estate agent, they can help you draft a request for repairs or credit to cover the costs of addressing the problems. Keep in mind that the seller is not obligated to agree to your request, so be prepared for negotiation.
Your real estate agent is your ally in navigating the home-buying process. Share the inspection report with them and discuss your concerns. They can offer advice on how to approach the situation and may be able to negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
4. Obtain Estimates for Repairs
If the seller agrees to address the issues, obtain estimates from licensed contractors for the necessary repairs. This will give you a clear idea of the costs involved and help ensure that the work is done professionally.
5. Negotiate with the Seller
Negotiating with the seller after receiving a problematic home inspection report is one of the most important steps of the house-buying process. If the report identifies any problems, you can negotiate with the seller to find a solution that benefits both sides.
When negotiating with the seller, one of the first issues to consider is the cost of repairs. If the report identifies serious issues that will cost a large amount of money to rectify, you may renegotiate the sale price or request that the seller make the repairs before closing. However, if the flaws are minor, you may be able to reach an agreement with the seller.
The timeline is an important consideration. If you’re on a tight deadline, you may need to find an urgent solution. In some cases, the seller may agree to make the required repairs prior to closing, or you may need to engage a contractor who can finish the work on time.
It is critical to negotiate in order to determine your priorities. Are you willing to do the repairs yourself after the sale, or would you prefer that the seller do them before the sale? Do you want a full refund, or are you willing to make a price concession? Knowing what you want will help you negotiate effectively with the seller.
It is extremely important to make your offer contingent on a professional home inspection for this reason. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a house that comes with issues that are now 100% your responsibility. Worse yet, if you make the mistake of not getting a home inspection before closing, you could be walking into a ticking timebomb of issues that are not yet revealed to you.
6. Be Prepared for Alternatives
If the seller is unwilling to make repairs or offer credits, or if the problems are too extensive for your comfort, you have several alternatives:
- Walk Away: You can choose to terminate the deal if the issues are deal-breakers and you can’t come to an agreement with the seller.
- Renegotiate the Price: You can negotiate a lower purchase price to account for the cost of repairs or use the inspection report as leverage for a more favorable deal.
- Assess Your Ability to Tackle Repairs: If you’re handy or have access to reliable contractors, you may be willing to address some issues yourself after closing.
Professional Home Inspection Services
A thorough home inspection is your key to peace of mind, and it’s a critical step in the home-buying process. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the insights gained from a professional home inspection can save you time, money, and stress down the road. Don’t leave the condition of your future home to chance.
At Wall to Wall Home Inspection, we specialize in comprehensive home inspections that leave no stone unturned. Our experienced inspectors are dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about your home.
So, when you’re ready, get your home inspection with us. Contact us today to schedule your inspection and ensure that your dream home is everything you’ve imagined and more!