Home Sale Agreements and Inspection Issues, Part 1

Posted by Dave Robison on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 at 7:42am.

In virtually all homebuying situations, a home inspection will be an important part of the process. Generally carried out after an offer has been accepted on a home, a home inspection is usually included by the buyer as a contingency in their offer – if significant issues are found during the inspection, buyers can then return to the seller and request that either the issues be remedied or the sale price be changed accordingly.

At Eagle Mountain Living, we’re happy talk any of our potential homebuyers through the inspection process and its basic tenets. One common question we get from clients here: What kinds of repairs or issues am I justified in raising with the seller after an inspection, and which others should be left alone? This two-part blog will dig into appropriate and inappropriate areas within this realm.

Warranted Repair Requests

For starters, there are a number of issues or repair types that may be uncovered during an inspection where the buyer is absolutely warranted in bringing them up to the seller. Issues with functional systems, from HVAC to plumbing and others, will all fit the bill. So will any major safety issues discovered, such as airborne contaminants or others that might not have been easily seen.

In addition, major structural defects or repair needs will be those you should, at minimum, raise with the seller. In cases where such damage is extensive and significant, buyers may even consider backing out of the contract.

Our subsequent sections will dig into areas that, generally speaking, are not considered prudent to raise with the seller and may indicate bad etiquette.

Standard Wear-and-Tear

A given home experiences some expected wear-and-tear over the years, and basic areas within this realm should not be brought up to sellers. We’re talking minor paint chips, flooring scratches or other cosmetic issues that don’t make much of a financial difference. Unless you’re buying a brand new home, in which case you won’t be dealing with a previous occupant at all, minor such issues are to be expected.

Previous Disclosures

In addition, any problem or repair need that was disclosed by the seller in advance will generally be off-limits. This usually tends to also cover any visible areas or flaws that could be easily seen when the offer was made.

Inexpensive Concerns

Down similar lines to wear-and-tear, any repairs that come with a relatively minor cost or could be reasonably covered by a handy homeowner should not be raised. As a general rule, any individual repair under $100 shouldn’t even be considered. This could change if a given home has dozens of such issues, but these situations are rare.

For more on home inspections and when it is or isn’t appropriate to bring noted issues back to a seller, or to learn about any of our homes for sale or real estate agents, speak to the staff at Eagle Mountain Living today.

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