Keeping Your Inspection Report In Perspective
Aside from waiting for your offer (or counteroffer) to be accepted, the home inspection can often be the most anxiety-inducing part of the homebuying process.
Visions of the perfect home slipping away over something found in the inspection report often fill homebuyers heads.
On the flip side, sellers and their real estate agents imagine an over-zealous inspector essentially asking for the entire home to be rebuilt from scratch or lose the sale.
If everyone involved maintains the proper perspective when it comes to the home inspection process, none of this nail-biting is necessary.
If I had to offer one word of advice to homebuyers, home sellers, and their realtors it would be this… relax.
Tanking your real estate transaction is not the goal of any home inspector.
The process becomes a lot less stressful if everyone understands the fundamental purpose of a home inspection.
And that is actually a 2-part equation…
To protect the home buyer from unexpected issues and expenses after purchasing the home.
To help the homebuyer make an informed decision as to whether or not they are comfortable that with the overall investment (the purchase price plus any additional expenses for updating or repairing items in the home) and want to move forward.
There is no such thing as a perfect home.
Most items found during a home inspection are relatively minor.
The cost of correcting these types of issues would range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
But… even if you home inspector were to find a major issue during the inspection, it does not mean that you shouldn’t buy the house.
Especially if you love the location and the neighborhood.
What it does mean is that you should analyze the asking price for the home, given the new information you have about potential expenses that you weren’t aware of prior to making an offer.
If a house is priced at the top of the market, and it needs a new roof, then it’s perfectly reasonable for the homebuyer to ask for a concession.
If you’re in a hot real estate market, the seller may not agree to the concession request as they’re likely to have someone else who is willing to buy the house at their asking price in spite of an issue like the roof.
But, remember the old saying…. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If a house was priced to reflect certain issues the seller and their agent knew would have to be taken into account, then there is probably going to be less room for any negotiation.
So essentially it all comes down to price.
If the house needs a lot of work, and the seller’s haven’t priced the home accordingly, then it makes sense to ask for concessions.
Even if the seller doesn’t agree to your requests for repairs or concessions, then you have to decide how whether all circumstances considered, you still want to buy the home at the price they are asking.
That’s when things like how long you plan to stay in the home come into play.
If you found a home you love, in a great location, and you plan to make it your home for the next 10 years (or more), well then you have the benefit of time.
Paying top dollar isn’t as big of a problem because you have a longer time horizon time (and real estate appreciation) than someone who is only going to stay in a home for 4-5 years.