When selling your house, your potential buyer will most likely hire a home inspector to check the major systems in your home. An inspector may discover major problems such as plumbing issues, electrical issues, and hvac system issues which affect your home’s safety. Structural defects like a leaking roof, or rotting floor joists also come under the heading of safety issues.
If your real estate agent has delivered a purchase contract to you with an inspection contingency, this simply means that the buyer has a right to withdraw the contract at that price if a home inspector finds problems with your home that are unacceptable to that buyer at that price.
What fixes are mandatory are problems that the potential buyer cannot live with at the price they originally offered, for example, a roof that is well past its useful life and will cost $9000 to replace with a new roof. Either you will have to replace the roof prior to closing at your expense or the buyer will want to adjust their offer down by $9000. Most buyers will have the realistic expectation that the house they buy has a roof which will serve them well for more than a short period.
The buyer may also elect to withdraw their offer entirely if too many major issues are discovered.
Technically, no fixes are mandatory if either party is willing to walk away from the deal.
Further, if the buyer has a mortgage contingency in the contract, lender requirements will demand fixes to provide the loan. The lender will require insurance on the property and the insurer may insist on the repairs and curing any code violations.
In this case, these repairs are mandatory for the buyer to cure somehow before closing either by paying for the work themselves or by getting the seller to make the fixes.
If your area is in a buyers market situation, then you have less leverage as your buyer will just buy another house if you refuse to make repairs. In a sellers market with not very many homes to select from, you don’t risk losing a deal as much and you have a stronger bargaining position when it comes to fixes.
The rule of thumb in all negotiations is that things will run more smoothly if both buyers and sellers are reasonable. This is especially true in real estate transactions.
Want to avoid all the home inspection drama? Then we have a solution for you.
HOME SELLERS GUIDE TO AVOID MAKING FIXES AFTER A HOME INSPECTION
There is something so very simple you can do to make sure that there are absolutely no surprises when a contingency inspection is performed on your home.
The simple answer is to have an inspector check out your home before you put it on the market. Regardless of how many times you have bought or sold property, you cannot trust yourself to pick up on every single pitfall of structure or equipment. And living in a home for a while does produce a bit of “home blindness”. Things that don’t bother you or you just ignore might be issues that home buyers find problematic and will be requesting repairs.
And, importantly, your inspection will be more thorough and find all the skeletons in the closet.
A fact about home inspections that few people appreciate is that the home inspector (who has no doubt been recommended by the selling agent) is really loyal to the agent. That buyer is a one-time client for the inspector; the real estate agent is a big source of business with multiple transactions per year.
Your own inspector will find things that the buyer’s inspector might overlook because a deal may or may not be at stake. You could take a chance that the buyer’s inspector might miss a few things. Home sellers do that all the time. But the anxiety over an inspection can be completely avoided if you know in advance what an eagle-eye might find.
Your inspection will give you a list of things that might be a red flag and jeopardize a future deal. Get them repaired before you list your home for sale and you won’t be under the gun to repair them and pay a premium rate for a quick repair service.
Another important consideration is the deal itself. Many a home buyer has walked out of a deal when the inspector cites too many repairs. Not because the problems aren’t fixable, but too many can spook a nervous buyer into bailing out of a contract. Their thinking goes along the lines of ‘gee, if the inspector found these 20 things wrong, what did he/she miss?’. Even if the issues are not major such as building code violations, missing shingles or a too small electrical panel, they will add up in the minds of a buyer.
Post inspection repairs are time consuming, stressful, and usually more expensive than repairs completed without an urgent deadline. At an already stressful time, you don’t want to have to add to your anxiety. When selling your home, get an inspection that you can trust to find issues before you list your home. You won’t have to negotiate repairs with the buyer and jeopardize your hard-earned sale or lose out on a good sale price.