Fix it or Forget it…
Believe it or not no home is perfect; not even a newly renovated home or new build. Every sales contract includes the right for the buyer to have their potential new home inspected by a licensed home inspector. A typical contract will include a timeframe to have the inspection completed and request submitted followed by deadlines for the seller to respond.
Getting the right home inspector is key. Get someone you trust; if you are unsure ask your realtor for suggestions. Realtors work closely with inspectors and can point you in the right direction.
The home inspector will take several hours looking at every nook and cranny in the home. The report they issue will include everything from the mundane cracked paint to the any serious structural issues. You may be wondering, why not focus just on the big stuff? Buyers need a professional, impartial eye to let them know what they really are buying. Not everyone can fix the mundane so it’s best to know what truly lies under the cosmetic. The home inspector will sometimes suggest the buyer get an expert opinion on certain things. For example, they may know they air conditioning unit is not functioning properly but they aren’t trained to diagnosed the problem.
After the buyer receives the inspection report its time to compile their list of items they would like the seller to fix, replace or correct.
But be wary buyers; ask for the moon and you may be denied, but if you don’t ask for enough you could be in for a headache.
So what do you ask for?
Consider your needs:
Are you a handy person? If there are things you could fix yourself with little expense consider keeping them off the list and focus on the heavier jobs such as electrical or roofing repairs.
New vs Replaced
A buyer's request for repairs, replacements or corrections must relate to issues the inspector found in the home. For instance, if the windows are operational but outdated a buyer typically wouldn't ask for them to be replaced with a new model. However, if the seals are broken you could ask for them to be replaced.
Keep in mind, every repair, replacement or correction you request will cost the seller additional money, making the seller more hesitant to do a long laundry list of repairs. The seller may opt to provide a credit at closing to put toward repairs rather than completing themselves. Sellers typically will do a combination of things to complete the buyer’s requests. After all they do want to sell the home.
Keep in mind repairs are a negotiation process. Your realtor will be your closest ally. Remember they’ve bought and sold thousands of homes and can help ease your fears and get you the house of your dreams.