What repairs are required to be made after a home inspection?
Sunday, March 17, 2019
A home inspector does not require anybody to fix anything after a home inspection, no matter how bad the condition of a home. The inspector lists components that are deteriorated, defective, not functional, leaking, and so forth, follwed by recommendations for repair or replacement.
But what gets fixed, and who fixes it, is determined by the sales contract terms and any after-the-inspection negotiations. When a homebuyer tells a homeowner “The home inspector says you have to replace the water heater,” that’s nonsense. We only recommend replacement, and do not specify who should do it.
If the sales contract specifies a dollar amount for certain repairs, then the buyers can choose which repairs they want done. And sometimes it’s possible to negotiate a little more. Even with an “as-is” contract, it may be possible to get a seller to do a few repairs rather than lose the deal. But often the minor repairs don’t get accomplished by either party, and the new homeowner simply moves in, expecting to fix things later.
There are two situations, however, where repairs are required:
- If the home is older and the insurance company requires a 4-point inspection to be submitted with the application, then the underwriter may specify certain repairs—such as roof repair, water heater replacement, or repair of unsafe electrical wiring—be made before issuing the policy.
- Some jurisdictions now have minimum safety standards that a home must meet before the sale can be made. It can be as simple as verifying that there are functional smoke alarms, or as complicated as the list of possible repair items required by the Truth-In-Sale of Housing Ordinance of Minneapolis, Minnesota, shown below, courtesy of Reuben Saltzman, of Structure Tech Home Inspection.
Inspectors try to highlight any major safety defects for immediate repair but, again, we cannot force anybody to do anything to the house, which is the fundatmental difference between a city or county building inspector and a home inspector.
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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:
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