Post-Inspection Tips for Buyers
So your home inspection results are in and now’s the time to start making decisions! You might be appalled at all the hidden things in need of repair, or you might be relieved that your biggest fears didn’t come true.
But before you get ahead of yourself, remember that buyers have several options available to them at this point in the process:
- Request that the seller make repairs
- Request that the seller pay for you to make repairs
- Don’t do anything and accept the home “as is”
- Back out of the deal
Unfortunately, negotiating repairs can turn into emotional debates and hard feelings that can kill the sale. Here are some post-inspection tips for buyers to keep in mind.
Ask A Lot Of Questions
Buying a home is a huge investment, and you should feel free to ask as many questions as you want…even if you think they might be obvious or silly. Part of a home inspector’s job is to answer your question and explain the repair issues to you, and that’s what you’re paying him for!
Pay Attention to Plumbing
Plumbing issues are some of the most common repairs needed, so ask your seller about the history of plumbing repairs in the home and if any warranties exist. Make sure your home inspector pays attention to the condition and age of the hot water heater, toilets, sump pump, and leaks in the faucets, refrigerator, toilets, and showers.
Contact a Specialist about Other Concerns
A home inspector’s job is to check out the foundation, exterior surfaces, grounds, roof, attic, electrical system, plumbing, appliances, HVAC system, basement and garage. However, there are a few important things that the standard home inspection leaves out.
Some of these things include lead paint, toxic mold, asbestos, radon, termites, and swimming pools. If you are buying an older home or have concerns based upon your observations, contact a specialist right away to protect yourself and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Price Out the Repairs
Carefully review the inspection report and make a list of the repairs that you need fixed and a list of the repairs that it would be nice to have fixed. Then take a trip to your local home improvement store and start pricing out the major components. Although you can get expert advice on estimated prices as well, this is a good exercise to understand how repair costs add up.
Ask for Credit to Make Your Own Repairs
For just a moment, put yourself into the shoes of the seller and think about how you would feel if you had to make a slew of costly and time-consuming repairs right when you’re ready to move out and move on. Is your seller has already packing and thinking of moving into his new home? If you feel like your seller is in a rush to get out, ask for a credit to make the repairs yourself so that they get the time and attention they deserve.
Remember the Other Potential Buyers
Until the contract is signed, the deed is transferred, and the money sent, your dream home is still in limbo. Don’t get so caught up in the repair negotiations that you forget about competing with other potential buyers for the house.
According to Brendon Desimone, author of Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling, “Prior to signing the real estate contract, your main concern is that you may be competing with other buyers. Once you’re in escrow and doing inspections, however, it’s just you and the sellers. Stay on your toes. Otherwise, you may risk losing out on further viable negotiation opportunities, which could lead to buyer’s remorse.”
Keep a Poker Face
Keep a “poker face” during the post-inspection negotiations – especially in the presence of the listing agent. Resist the urge to gush about how much you love the house and don’t mind fixing it up, because your words could be used against you and cost you in repair credit. If you plan on renovating certain parts of the home, keep it to yourself. Sellers may not be as willing to credit you for repairs if you’re just going to redo it later anyway.