It shouldn’t come as a surprise when your home inspector finds a long list of issues when performing the inspection on the home you intend to buy; after all you did hire them to go through the place with a fine tooth comb and pick it apart, right?
The inspector is going to document everything they notice that could use repair. That means everything from the major (badly cracked foundation) to the trivial (missing light switch plate). If you are purchasing an older home it is only fair to expect that during it’s years of service to past families it will have received plenty of bumps and bruises throughout it’s life time.
You may or may not be overjoyed with what the report has to say about the home but either way, isn’t is better to know? And there are ways you can navigate going forward depending on results and how you feel about them.
You love the house and since receiving acceptance of your offer you have been thinking of what furniture will go where and all the ways you want to add your own personal touches .
The inspector completes the inspection and the next day provides you with what seems like an overly thick catalogue. At first glance when you see the amount of pages the report contains you may think “Holy hell, no wonder the place has been on market this long”
You take a breath and dive into the report expecting the worst and pleasantly discover many of the pages are just information pages and even though the list of mentions is lengthy most of the issues are fairly minor and typical for a home of it’s age in this area.
You mentally note what you will want to address right away and accept the rest as ‘good to know’ and move forward with your purchase.
But what if the inspector discovers something you consider to be a substantial problem or the list of moderate issues is so extensive that the overall costs of repairs adds up to much more than you were expecting or financially prepared for?
The most obvious answer is that you can collapse your offer, walk away from this home and find another home that doesn’t require as much work or extra dollars to be spent on repairs.
But what if this property still seems more desirable to you than any of the others you have previewed? The terms and price of your current accepted offer with the seller was agreed to prior to having this knowledge so you can ask if the seller would be willing to re-negotiate.
If they are open to the option of re- negotiating there are a couple of ways you can go about addressing the inspection concerns.
You can ask the seller to have the required work done by a specific date. This can be an appealing option since it removes the expense and doesn’t add another something to your to do list or you can ask for a reduction of dollars off the current accepted price to help off-set the future the cost of the repairs you just found out about.
Re- negotiation of price may be the best option for many reasons. Be tactful in how you go about the business of asking if the seller is open to this option. Do keep in mind that issues brought to light in the inspection are often a surprise to the seller as well.
You get more be with honey than you do with vinegar.
There can be serious risks involved with re-negotiating an accepted offer, have a thorough conversation with your real estate representative to discuss your options and all the pros and cons each decision could affect your existing offer.