Will the home inspector help a homebuyer get the seller to reduce the price of the house?

Monday, October 22, 2018

The short answer is: no. Our job is providing an accurate, unbiased report on the condition of a home you are about to buy; and we  explain our observations, along with our opinions on conditions and defects, to you in a written report format with photos.

You can use the report in several ways:

  1. To decide whether to buy the house, or walk away. If you decide to walk, the report can provide ammunition to prove to the seller that there were enough defects to warrant canceling your sale contract.
  2. To attempt to convince the seller that the home has such a significant amount of defects that the price needs to be adjusted downward accordingly.
  3. To request repairs be done to home by the seller to fix defects that were not disclosed, as a prerequisite to completing the sale.

   Choice #1 should be made after reading our report and discussing your concerns with your realtor. Although we may present you with a laundry-list of defects for repair, the issues are often minor and the repairs not too expensive. These problems should be weighed against the many intangibles that a home inspector does not report on; such as the quality of the neighborhood and school district, distance to work and shopping, how well the floor plan, finishes, outdoor spaces, and landscaping fit your lifestyle, and how bad your spouse really wants that particular home.

   Choices #2 and #3 are negotiations, which is unfamiliar territory for us. Your realtor is a trained, experienced negotiator. And realtors amaze us almost daily with their ability to hammer out a good deal for their customers--sometimes when all hope seems lost. Tell your realtor what you want, then let a professional do the messy back-and-forth negotiation for you.

   Our report can certainly be used as part of that tussle, but pulling us into the process personally never seems to work well. We generally avoid talking with the parties on the other side of the deal and, when absolutely necessary, do it in writing only. Your realtor will tell you, and we agree: keep the home inspector out of the deal and you will be better off! 

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window/wall air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

If we already looked at the house very carefully, do we still need a home inspection?

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure? 

What should I look for when buying a former rental house?  

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What should I look for when buying a house that is being "flipped" by an investor seller? 

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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