seeing termites
Tips To Ward Off Termites and Signs They Might Be Invading
December 8, 2020
home inspection checklist
Home Inspection When Buying a House
February 9, 2021
Show all

Do Sellers Have to Fix Everything After a Home Inspections?

Home inspector checking the foundation.

Contractor checking the fondation on a home.

Buyer, the seller, what now?
It is recommendable that every buyer has their potential property inspected. If you are using bank loans, they will actually require it. What happens after the inspection?

To start with, every inspection is going to turn up issues. It is highly unlikely that all items will be marked satisfactory. Building codes get updated, appliances age and the wear of the structure all play a part in what appears on the report. What happens next will depend on the motivation of the seller. When items appear unsatisfactory on an inspection report they fall into three general categories; things that the seller must fix, things that the seller should fix, and things that the buyer can negotiate.

At no point is a seller required to fix everything that is marked unsatisfactory, with one exception. If an unsatisfactory item ends up on the four-points inspection, it must be fixed, or else the property won’t be able to be insured. This means the bank won’t be able to issue the loan a potential buyer was seeking.

Things that fall into the category of should, are basically anything the seller thinks will help them close the sale. They become part of the negotiation for the deal, even though a contract with the buyer is already in place.

One example, a tree limb hanging in contact with a roof. This will be marked unsatisfactory on the inspection report. The buyer can tell the seller to have it removed or no deal. The seller can refuse however this gives the buyer an opportunity to walk away from their contract. Most sellers are motivated to sell enough to accept this as a new term of the deal.

The things a buyer can negotiate may not even end up marked unsatisfactory on the inspection report. For example, a roof may still have been rated with five years of useful life and thus satisfactory. The buyer can still request that a new roof be put on since the old one is at the end of its life. In this particular case, the buyer and seller agreed to split the cost to replace the roof.

The inspection report is not a list of things the seller must accomplish to close their sale. It is merely an objective picture. The inspector, a professional with no vested interest in the sale, is there to evaluate the condition, certify the age of key elements and confirm that the structure is up to current or grandfathered building codes.

It is ok for the seller to object to repairing everything on the report. However, it leaves the buyer in a situation where they have to make a final determination if they wish to continue the sale. Many buyers do walk-away at that point when a seller refuses a repair. It comes down to the motivation of the seller to make the deal close.