Negotiating after a home inspection
We understand that negotiating after a home inspection can be tough – you want to get the best possible price on the home you intend to purchase, and you want to make sure you get the important items taken care of, but you also don’t want to upset the seller too much or ask for something unreasonable. You need a way to present accurate and truthful information in an unbiased manner so that you and the seller can negotiate effectively and bring about a fair resolution. So how should you approach it?
Here are Signature Home Inspection we get a LOT of questions from home buyers after they get their home inspection report back. So we’re going to list the most frequently asked ones below, and also provide you with some useful answers to those questions so you can be more certain of your plan moving forward:
What are the most common repairs needed after a home inspection?
To answer this question, we suggest you click the link above and read the WHOLE article. We dived deep into data on over 15,000 reports to give you information on what is common or normal on a home inspection, and what is not. Now, this doesn’t mean that just because something is common that you shouldn’t be concerned about it. In fact, the #1 item on there was a great cause for concern. We just want you to know that most homes are not perfect, so you shouldn’t run away from a home just because you see something you have not encountered before.
What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?
Interestingly, if you are paying cash or using a conventional loan, none! This of course depends on what your lender knows about the house, and if something has been shared with them that was discovered on an appraisal. (It also ties into question 3 below). Now on a 203K loan, or even a VA or FHA loan they may actually require a copy of your inspection report and demand that deficiencies on certain items (roof, foundation etc.) be remedied before they close the loan. This is not to be difficult, but these are MAJOR cost items and they do not want to underwrite a loan on a home that is not safe for the homeowner. If your lender requires you to share your inspection report as a loan condition (make sure you ask!), then you will just have to abide by their guidelines.
Should I share my inspection report with my lender or home warranty provider?
This is a tricky question. Personally we don’t know of any home warranty company that requires this, but we know almost ALL will ask specifically to see it. What they are looking for are pre-existing conditions on the home that may allow them to deny a claim further down the line. So it’s really up to you if you decide to share it. Remember, the inspection report belongs to YOU, not the seller, not your agent or the inspector, YOU. This is why although we are required to keep certain records for legal reasons, we will not share your personal information with anyone, nor give your report to anyone without your permission. As far as your lender, just ask them, “Is it a condition of my loan approval?”. If it is, then you have to decide if you want to move ahead with that lender and share it, or look for another source. Remember, if it’s a VA or FHA loan of a certain type you may be required to share it.
Should I have the seller do repairs or just wait until after closing?
This is a GREAT question, and a lot of it will depend on the repairs themselves and also your financial situation. We ALWAYS recommend getting any repairs that affect the safety of the homes occupants repaired BEFORE you move in, so normally this would be the sellers’ responsibility. These would include things like:
- Smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors
- Gas leaks
- Electrical faults or issues – especially with hot panels or incorrect wiring
- Broken or missing door and window locks
- Faulty garage door sensors
- Water heater strapping brought up to code
Essentially anything that could cause a safety or health issue. Remember that when you write a repair amendment to have the seller fix anything, always state “receipts to be provided” and also “work to be performed only by a contractor licensed to perform these specific repairs.”
Sometimes, however, you find larger problems that don’t necessarily pose a risk but that could make life very uncomfortable for you if they were to fail – think HVAC, water heater etc. If an item is at the end of its serviceable life however, are you going to repair it or replace it with a new model? Personally we recommend taking a credit (price reduction, closing cost assistance increase) and then upgrading the faulty item to one of your choosing after you move in. Just put that money towards the upgraded system and reap the benefits of a more efficient and longer lasting home.
How can I estimate the cost for repairs?
That’s where we come in. When you order our Signature Package we make it EASY to turn any home inspection report into a highly accurate estimate of repairs. We simply upload your report, and within 24 hours we’ll have a detailed estimate of repairs back to you so you can negotiate the house price or for repairs after your inspection.
Please remember these prices are ballpark, and getting three estimates from reliable contractors is strongly recommended. A Home Inspection can help identify these types of expenses prior to the purchase of your new home.