Preparing for a home inspection is an integral part of properly preparing your home for sale. However, sometimes even with the best preparations, things don’t go as planned. Of course, as the seller, you should always hope for the best results possible in a home inspection report. However, let’s go through a couple of things to do after you get bad home inspection results that can help you reach a deal with the buyer and avoid canceling the sale.
What will the home inspector be looking for?
Since there are many common questions that people have about home inspections, let’s first demystify what a home inspection is. And the first part of that process is to discuss what home inspectors generally look for in your home. In most sale contracts, a specific list of things must be in “working order” when closing the sale. However, this doesn’t mean that things have to be brand new. If some old appliances in your home still work correctly, they shouldn’t be a problem during the home inspection. Here’s a short list of what most professional inspectors will be keeping an eye out for:
- Excess dampness in basements and crawlspaces;
- Non-functioning or poorly-functioning electrical panels;
- Major plumbing issues;
- Structural damage in the home;
- Potential mildew or mold;
- The state of the heating/cooling systems;
- Chimney damage;
- Roofing issues.
Another possibility is that the buyer might hire an infestation inspector if the initial inspection shows signs that it’s necessary.
What are the most common reasons for getting bad home inspection results?
Here is another short list of the most common issues that home inspectors come across that could be a reason for failing the inspection. Checking for these yourself before a buyer even conducts their inspection is definitely a smart idea.
- Major roof damage or leaks – Even newly-built homes can be missing a few shingles. What a home inspector is actually looking for is damage that can cause further issues and be a safety hazard;
- Major plumbing issues – If your pipes are a bit dated, but there are no leaks, you should be fine. But, if they notice any leaks, you are sure to be failing the inspection;
- Actual signs of foundational damage – A home inspector will be able to tell the difference between cosmetic hairline cracks in the home’s foundation and actual damage that could cause problems;
- Mold -This is a fairly common issue in parts of the country with humid climates, but any sign of mold will be a problem;
- Electrical hazards – Faulty wiring that’s not up to code is one of the most common problems in old homes;
- Chimney damage – This can be a real safety hazard if not dealt with properly.
Now that you know a bit more about home inspections and why you might fail one, let’s start going through the list of things to do after you get bad home inspection results.
1. Get a second opinion
If you have concerns or believe that your inspection results aren’t accurate, your first step should always be to get a second opinion from a separate house inspector that you hired. Scams of this kind are not common, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The biggest sign that you may need a second opinion is if the buyer insists on getting money rather than having you fix the issues that came up.
2. Make the repairs
If the buyer is motivated enough and ready to wait for you to make the repairs, this is usually the best way to handle your situation. This way, you can be sure that you’ll still sell your home and move with the help of Miami Moving and Storage even though you didn’t pass your inspection at first. There are two main conditions for doing this:
- The repair requests from your buyer have to be reasonable – small issues and things that won’t be a problem for a while should be left to the buyer to handle;
- You should only be doing repairs that you can afford – if something seems too far out of your budget, you should try going forward with one of the other options in this article.
3. Offer a one-year warranty
This option is one of the best things to do after you get bad home inspection results if the buyer is highly motivated and in a time crunch to move in. If none of the issues that came up during the home inspection are a cause for concern at the moment, you might be able to reach this kind of agreement with the buyer. This means you’ll enter into a verbal contract with the buyer and promise to do any repairs during the first year of their living there. As we’ve already said, this is an excellent option if you and the buyer want to finish the sale quickly.
4. Give a credit
A common practice in most states is for you to offer credit for repairs. Most buyers will accept this offer. However, do keep in mind that it’s still smart to get a quote from a contractor. This way, you won’t be offering a credit that is higher than it has to be.
5. Offer an as-is sale at a lower price
This is one of the smartest choices to make after you get bad home inspection results if the necessary repairs are way out of your financial capabilities. Offering an as-is sale at a lower price will almost always work. If the amount of money you will be losing on the lower price is less than the amount it would take you to fix the problem, you should go through with this option.
An excellent example of this kind of issue would be plumbing problems. The most common plumbing problems that are found during a home inspection are usually costly and time-consuming. So if you don’t have the money or time, it’s better to handle them like this.
6. Pull out of the sale until you fix things
If you’re not in a rush to sell and need some time to finish fixing all the problems that came up during the initial home inspection, it may be best to cancel the sale and take your time. While this is the worst-case scenario, sometimes we must accept reality and do our best to keep going.
Make sure to talk to your agent about this, but in general, most state laws will require you to disclose everything that was found in the first inspection to future buyers. This also includes things you fixed after canceling the sale. You shouldn’t be worried about this since almost every buyer will get their home inspection regardless of your disclosure. This may even give you a chance to stand out against the competition since all of the major issues you initially found out about will be fixed. Remember, the disclosure laws will differ between states. So, ensure you work with your agent to prepare your disclosure document properly.
As you can see, as long as you keep calm, and start working on solutions right away, there are things to do after you get bad home inspection results that will ensure you get through this properly. Make sure you discuss everything with your real estate agent and other professionals. With their help, you should be able to make all the right decisions to get the best results for your situation.