When it comes to the home inspection part of the home buying and selling process,
market conditions really matter. In a buyer’s market, it’s much easier for the buyer
to make requests before closing on a home.
In a seller’s market, however, things aren’t quite as simple.
But first things first. It’s not pass or fail.
Identify your deal breakers
Before you attend the home inspection – which you absolutely should do – it’s
imperative that you have a conversation with your real estate agent about the types
of issues that might arise. You both need to be clear ahead of time about what the
“deal breakers” are. We recommend identifying the issues that would cause you to walk
away from purchasing this home.
Every buyer is different, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. It’s
important to understand, though, that in a seller’s market, the less-picky buyer has a
better chance at ending up owning the home.
So, if the inspection report reveals that the house needs a new $10,000 roof, is that a
deal breaker for you? Or do you have roofing experience, making it a less expensive,
but more time consuming, long weekend, do-it-yourself-project?
Is the furnace at the end of it’s shelf life to the tune of a $5,000 new piece of equipment?
Maybe that’s a deal breaker. Or maybe your brother owns an HVAC company, you get a
big discount, and you’re not worried about replacing a heater.
You get the idea. You might be handy, willing to try, or not willing to do any repairs
at all. Any of those answers are fine as long as your real estate agent understands
where you stand before you head into the home inspection.
Attend the home inspection
I recommend that all of my clients attend the home inspection with me because I
want to be able to have a conversation with the inspector, and buyer, when
necessary. A report can be scary without having a the conversation with the inspector at the home.
At one home inspection, for example, my client was offering to purchase a smaller
home for under $100,000. The inspector called me down and explained that the
home had a foundation issue that would cost $8,000 to repair. We consulted with the buyer and stopped the
inspection then and there. That was a deal breaker.
Read that long report (your buyer’s agent can help!)
It’s also important to thoroughly review the inspection report. Although it’s long
(really long!), and can be a bit overwhelming, it’s important. Because I read them all frequently, it’s easy for me to know what to look for. I walk through the reports with each client, pointing out things they might overlook or helping them determine what’s worth worrying about.
Consider your buyer’s agent’s advice
One of my clients absolutely loved a home but didn’t want to deal with any big
problems. The inspection report revealed that the dishwasher handle wasn’t
working quite right, which bothered the buyer. But in the midst of a seller’s market,
making a request to repair it could’ve resulted in losing the home.
Instead, I asked the buyers whether they would buy the home if it didn’t have a
dishwasher. They didn’t even hesitate. Of course they would – they loved this home!
When they thought about it that way, they realized that it wasn’t worth requesting a
small repair like that one in a hot market.
If you do want to request a repair, I strongly suggest having your agent discuss it
with the seller’s agent before you put anything in writing. Once it’s in writing, you’re
out of contract and the seller could potentially accept another offer.
To review, in a seller’s market, buyers should:
Discuss their priorities with their real estate agent before the home
Discuss potential “deal-breakers” that might arise during the home
Attend the home inspection.
Get a copy of the inspection report and review it with your real estate agent.
Allow your agent to negotiate on your behalf, talking with the other agent
before you put anything in writing.
Brooke Marie Collective would love to represent you as you buy a home.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you find the home of your