Uh oh…it’s happened. You made an offer on a great home, or you got a great offer for your home, and the inspection report was less than spectacular. Here is what you should do, and keep in mind that PANIC isn’t on the list.
In general, some “bad” items are simple fixes that can be made that won’t affect the contract on the home. Some, however, are bigger issues. These include home systems that are in dire need of repair, mold, foundation issues or the like. These kinds of problems will affect the contract and final selling price or may mean the buyer backs out. The seller will need to keep in mind that if that happens, they will be required to disclose the issues from the home inspection report on future sales.
Ok, so if you are a seller here are things that you can do. First, keep in mind it’s not a bad thing. If you didn’t disclose the items you may get sued by the buyer. If you agree to help the buyer with repairs, you can have them waive liability for any future issues. That doesn’t mean you have to shout them from the rooftops or go running to the buyer. Wait for them to come to you. Those easy fixes may be something that the buyers could really not care about and planned on fixing or changing anyway. Best bet for you, the seller, is to discuss the report with your Realtor so you can be best prepared to deal with anything that pops up.
If you are buying a home that received a less than stellar inspection, there are a few things you can do too. First, talk to your Realtor about what each item means for you as a buyer. If you were expecting some of those simple fixes you can do one of two things. First, you can ask the seller to fix those items or second, you can fix them yourself. If it was something you were planning on fixing or changing anyway, no big deal. Just don’t be a putz and make an issue out of it for some kind of tactical advantage. The seller will see through it and may then refuse to fix anything.
If the fixes are big items, get more information about how expensive the fix will be and then have your Realtor approach the sellers with a request to give you a credit for the cost of repairs. The seller may not be able to do that, so if that’s the case, you will need to decide if you want to move forward anyway or exercise one of the contingencies in the contract and walk away.
See, no advice to PANIC!