Get a Better Home Deal – Inspections and Repair Negotiations
Home buyers have a lot to think about when it comes to the negotiations and closing of a home purchase transaction. Doubly so for first-time buyers!
Buying a home is complex, with a great many details, documents, and decisions during the process. But many are unaware that the purchase price is only one of the major negotiations in the purchase transaction.
Let’s focus on a crucial element of the process that often makes-or-breaks a deal: the home inspection.
An inspection helps uncover defects in the home, from minor to major deal-breakers. While it’s uncommon to find a “major” defect (think mold, cracking foundation, etc.) a seller may be unaware of these issues until the home inspection discovers them.
It’s far more common to have a list of “minor” defects that arise from daily wear-and-tear.
If an inspection finds too many issues, you as a buyer have what you need to either confidently back out of the deal altogether during your due diligence period … or negotiate.
The trick, of course, if is you negotiate that you do so effectively.
Inspection Reports and Common Defects Identified
What type of defects are there? Here’s a list – buyers should expect to run into at least a few of these, though the more you find may indicate a home that hasn’t been terribly well-taken care of:
- cracks, chips, gouges in baseboards or molding.
- worn areas in carpeting, sometimes holes.
- non-functional exterior door locks.
- doors not hanging properly, binding.
- windows not hanging properly, binding.
- broken or chipped tiles in floors or countertops.
- non-functioning light fixtures.
- air conditioning and/or heating system malfunctions.
- signs of overheating in electrical outlets.
- leaking water supply pipes or drain plumbing.
- marred or cracked flooring or walls.
- cracked glass in windows or doors.
- dripping water fixtures.
- signs of termite or other wood-destroying insects.
- signs of moisture in attic as revealed by stained ceilings.
- watermarking in the attic indicating current or past roof leaking.
- damaged roof tiles or shingles.
- damaged gutters or rotting around gutters.
- evidence of leaking around roof penetrations.
- ground sloping toward a foundation that could cause future water damage.
- defects in porches or decks.
This is just a partial list of what a diligent home inspector can indicate on a home inspection report.
Get a vetted inspector
As the buyer(s), you want to independently select your inspector, though recommendations from a real estate agent are a good start. Make sure they are going to be thorough. Also, if you want to be present, they should not object when you pepper them with questions.
Just be sure to stay out of their way as they typically have packed schedules and are in high demand!
Looking up Google reviews and speaking with your trusted agent should give you a list of 2-3 inspectors you can trust who have worked in the local market for a while. This is important: someone new to the market may miss crucial details, such as windows that are more effective for island living or proper ways to take care of a house in a high-humidity climate.
A few other inspection notes
A thorough home inspection report on an older home could have a long list of deferred maintenance issues. This should not be a scary thing, but you should work with your Summer House Realty agent to draft a thorough objection or demand document requiring repairs or a cash credit at closing so you can do them later.
Some lenders will require repairs to be completed before closing, especially if there are defects that could make the home unlivable if not corrected soon. However, if the lender will allow you to negotiate for reimbursement at closing for an agreed-upon dollar amount, it is generally better for you than letting the seller make the repairs before closing.
Motivations are different. The seller will want to satisfy the terms of the repair negotiations agreement at the lowest cost. This may not result in the quality of repair you would want. Getting credit at closing to allow you to hire out the repairs puts you in control of the results.
As a buyer, you can expect repair issues in most home deals. The key is to negotiate the best deal for you in how they are to be completed.
Summer House Realty
Located in Augusta and Amelia Island, our teams have a network of trusted inspectors they use on a regular basis – and have plenty of tactics at their disposal to ensure your buying experience is as smooth as possible.
Contact us today to learn more!