Are you in the process of buying a home and need to get a home inspection? The report is likely going to come back with a list of items that should be repaired, leaving you feeling a bit overwhelmed with what to do about it. While it is not common for a seller to fix everything that needs to be repaired on that list of items, it is important to know what things should be fixed and what should be left off the negotiating table.
Fix: Health And Safety Problems
One thing to keep in mind is that there may be issues listed in the home inspection report that fall under health and safety issues. These are some things you have some leverage with since mortgage lenders will not typically approve a mortgage if the issues exist with the home before you purchase it. This can give the seller some motivation to fix the problem because it will be an issue with the next buyer as well.
For example, the inspector may have discovered foundation damage that poses a concern for the safety of the home. It's one of the biggest problems that will hold up your lender on approving your mortgage, and any home seller is going to have problems selling a home with this issue. On the minor side, a lack of smoke and CO2 detectors is a perfect example of a small safety problem that should be addressed before you move in. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, then placing earthquake straps on the appliances like the water heater may be necessary to ensure the appliances are protected.
Don't Fix: Cosmetic Problems
While cosmetic issues are usually not fun to repair, it is usually something that is not requested for the seller to fix before you close on the home. This includes every instance in the home inspection of holes in the wall, peeling paint, stained carpeting, and things of that nature. If you can see it during the initial walkthrough, consider it built into the price of the home. However, you can always ask for a credit at closing if you think the cosmetic issues are excessive. This can help reduce your closing costs and put some extra cash in your pocket.
Negotiable: Small Problems
The home inspection may list a lot of small problems that are typically from a lack of home maintenance. This could include having the HVAC system inspected, a leaking toilet repaired, or a broken appliance replaced. Rather than having these items repaired, you may want to request a home warranty to ensure that there are no large expenses during the first year that you own the home.
To learn more, contact a home inspector.