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Get a Better Home Deal – Inspections and Repair Negotiations

Homebuyers have a lot to think about when it comes to the negotiations and closing of a home purchase transaction. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers.

A home purchase transaction is complicated with a great many details, documents, and decisions during the process. Many buyers are unaware that the purchase price is only one of the major negotiations in the purchase transaction.

In almost all home purchase transactions, even new homes, there will be a home inspection to uncover defects in the home, from minor to major deal-breakers. It is rare that there is a major defect that can quickly kill a deal. Examples would be cracked foundations, black mold, or leaky roofs.

It is far more common for there to be several smaller defects, none alone rising to the deal-killer level. However, the home inspection and resulting negotiations about repairs are the top cause of failed deals.

Inspection Reports and Common Defects Identified

What type of defects are there? These are a few of the more common defects that a home buyer can expect to encounter:

•   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. 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, as you may have questions. Just do not get in the way or slow down their work.

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 Houser 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 homebuyer, 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

At Summer House Realty we work with every one of our customers to make sure your best interests are always at the forefront of any real estate transaction. If you are looking to purchase a home that has red flags in the inspection report, we will be on your side to negotiate the terms of any repairs or price negotiations with the seller. With years of experience and intimate knowledge of the Fernandina Beach market, we can help you navigate your new home purchase. Contact Summer House Realty today for all of your real estate needs (904) 557-3020.