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A Guide to Negotiating Home Inspection Repairs with the Seller (Part 1 of 2)May 6th, 2015 by
Getting a home inspection before purchasing a house is an absolute necessity. With all the cosmetic work and touch-ups that home sellers do, it can be hard for an untrained eye to spot potential problems.
Fortunately, investing in a certified home inspection can ensure that the buyer is getting his or her dream home and not a dud.
Home inspections usually occur after the buyer and seller have settled on a price but before the buyer has signed the contract. Home inspectors check the structure and function of the home, from the roof and gutters to the basement and electrical panels.
The home evaluation usually costs a couple hundred dollars, but it’s an investment that can help homebuyers save money when negotiating with the seller for repairs to the home.
The types of problems a home may have vary depending on the age of the home and other factors. However, there are issues that home inspectors frequently find. Listed below are seven common problems that homebuyers may have to negotiate over.
Seven Common Home Inspection Repairs
- Air Conditioning and Heating Issues. Outdated systems and poor maintenance are common HVAC problems. The homebuyer will either need to have the faulty parts replaced or have a new system installed.
- Electrical Wiring. Faulty electrical wiring can be a costly and extremely dangerous problem. Inspectors will need to make sure everything is grounded properly, and fuse boxes may need to be updated in order to carry higher electrical loads.
- Toxic or Dangerous Materials. Mold and asbestos can have major health consequences, such as asthma attacks, skin irritations, and even lung cancer. Home inspectors may find mold in bathrooms and basements or find asbestos around insulation, pipes, and woodwork. Lead paint is another dangerous material to look out for.
- Pests. During a home evaluation, there are many destructive pests that inspectors may come across, including mice or rats, wood-boring beetles, and termites. Home inspectors will make note of any damage these pests have caused and determine what steps need to be taken to eradicate them.
- Plumbing. Home inspectors typically find a lot of plumbing problems in older homes, such as leaks, corroded pipes, and septic tank problems. If these plumbing problems aren’t fixed, they can lead to water damage or drainage issues.
- Roof or Attic Work. A home inspector may discover improper roof installation, missing shingles, leaky gutters, damaged downspouts, and poor insulation during the home evaluation. The best-case scenario for the buyer would be a few repairs—the worst-case scenario would be costly changes like a complete roof replacement.
- Structural Damage. Lastly, home inspectors will need to ensure that the house is structurally sound. Cracks in the foundation, decks that are not up to code, and damaged concrete floors may seem like small problems, but they can have huge consequences.
After the home inspector has evaluated the house, homebuyers can use the home inspection report to further discuss prices and repairs with the seller.
There are two ways in which homebuyers can negotiate home inspection repairs.