Sellers: Be Prepared For Requests After a Home Inspection

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There are any number of clauses that buyers can insert in their contracts. In fact, buyers are advised to include certain clauses in order to protect themselves, such as financing and home inspection clauses. 

A financing clause gives buyers the opportunity to make sure that they're able to secure a mortgage before they agree to take possession of the home. A home inspection gives buyers a chance to have the home inspected by a professional in order to ensure the property is void of any major issues that would be very costly to rectify.

As buyers, these are clauses that offer some level of protection. But as sellers, they can often be a nuisance.

Home Inspections Can Cause a Rift in the Deal

When it comes to inspections, sellers should be prepared for any number of complaints once the inspection has been completed. Even though you may think that your home is in great shape, there could be certain issues that you may have glossed over that have caught the attention of both the inspector and the buyer.

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will go over any issues they may have found with the buyer - no matter how minor - and will make suggestions on what should be fixed. Once that little meeting is over, you can expect the buyer to come back to you with a list of demands. 

What Can Buyers Request After a Home Inspection?

A seemingly unending list of things can creep up on a home inspection report and be communicated back to you. Here are just a few issues that buyers may have with a home they agreed to purchase:

  • Cracks n the foundation

  • Windows that stick

  • Chipped tiles

  • Loose handrails

  • Moisture in the basement

  • Missing light fixtures

  • Ill-functioning appliances

  • Burned-out light bulbs

  • Damaged eavestroughs

  • Poor grading

  • Weak water pressure

  • Slow draining

  • Shoddy electrical work

The list can literally go on and on. The key is to be prepared for such complaints, and also be prepared to be asked to fix them before the closing date.

But are you obligated to make any of these repairs as a seller?

What Can Sellers Do in Response to Buyer Complaints?

Just because buyers demand to have certain issues rectified doesn't mean you have to necessarily abide by all of their demands. Any issues that are discovered during a home inspection can be dealt with by going back to the negotiating table. 

As a seller, you can certainly agree to make any repairs as requested by the seller before the closing date arrives. This will probably please the buyers and make for a smooth transaction.

But that's not your only option. You can negotiate with the buyer and even throw in a monetary credit in the deal that would cover the cost of making such repairs. Then, the buyers can make the improvements on their own after they take possession of the home. If they agree to that, you have a done deal.

You can also renegotiate the sale price of the home, which many buyers will often request. They'll go back to the table and show you a list of things that need updating along with their associated costs. They can then ask that you shave off that amount from the sale price of the home to cover the costs associated with making repairs. If you agree, you've got a deal. Otherwise, you can keep on negotiating.

You also have the option to say no to making the repairs, throwing in credit to pay for the repairs, or lowering the sale price. You can stand firm in your position and inform the buyers that they can either take the home as is or walk away from the deal. Both you and the buyer have that freedom to do so.

What happens after that will depend on whether or not the buyer agrees. They can either accept your position and go through with the deal, or walk away. That's part of the flexibility that a home inspection clause affords buyers. If they don't like what they see and the inspection report comes back unsatisfactory in their eyes, they have the option to walk away from the deal.

Final Thoughts

Although buyers certainly have some freedom when it comes to home inspections, so do you. While you may want to consider what the buyer is asking for, you can make your own decision at the end of the day. But before you make that decision, be sure to consult with your real estate agent and consider their advice on how to proceed with any buyer requests following a home inspection.