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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:
How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactued and modular homes
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of Blog Posts