Home inspections are a part of the sales process that makes every house seller anxious. Should they experience a bad home inspection, they dread the long list of repair demands from buyers, and the big cut this and other closing costs will take from their profits.
But you can avoid all the stress by being prepared. Here are some things you need to know about the home inspection process, and how you can deal with it if you get a terrible result.
What is a Home Inspection?
Home inspections are a crucial part of selling a house. The buyer usually requests them, and the reason is simple. No one would want to spend thousands on a property, only to find out they would need to spend thousands more if they encounter unexpected repairs.
A home inspection is carried out by a home inspector. These professionals are trained to thoroughly check the conditions of a property and spot any potential issues.
The home inspector’s findings are then compiled into a home inspection report. If it’s a bad inspection report (there are multiple problem areas), the buyer could potentially back out.
Some of the more common things that fail in a home inspection include termites, leaks, problems with the heating system, and building code violations. Roofing and plumbing are also significant factors that often lead to a bad home inspection for sellers.
However, buyers requesting repairs after a home inspection isn’t that uncommon, especially if it’s a particularly good property in a desirable neighborhood. Sometimes, lender required repairs are requested before loans are released to the buyer, so this can be a non-negotiable.
Home Inspection Report Contingency
What is it?
A home inspection report contingency is a clause in a property contract that gives the buyer the right to inspect the seller’s property. It then allows the buyer to legally back out of the deal in the case of a bad home inspection report.
Is it Common?
Home inspection report contingencies are a standard part of real estate contracts. However, they’re much more common in a buyer’s market, where buyers have plenty of choices, and competition among sellers is fierce.
During a seller’s market, however, this trend tends to reverse. Some buyers even voluntarily state that they’re willing to give up their right to inspect the property to make their offer more attractive to the seller.
What Does it Include?
The stipulations of a contingency clause can vary, depending on your offer contract. For example, some contracts expressly forbid cosmetic repairs due to normal wear and tear on the seller’s part.
What is included are the specifics on what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection fails so that the contract becomes binding. Otherwise, the buyer is given the freedom to renegotiate the deal or claim a refund.
Home Inspection: Buyers vs. Sellers
Who Pays for a Home Inspection?
The buyer is often the one who pays for a home inspection since they’re the ones who initiate the process. This gives buyers the freedom to choose their home inspector, however, that some sellers might not prefer.
Hence, some sellers also opt to do a home inspection of their own. This allows them to price their house accordingly or, at the very least, anticipate any common repairs needed after a home inspection by the buyer later on.
Home Inspection Timeline
Home inspections occur after the buyer has made an offer, but before the deal is closed. The length of time varies, but the standard is usually 10 – 15 days after the seller accepts the offer.
The buyer is the one who initiates this, and the seller or his agent needs to be present on the day to facilitate the inspection.
Most medium-sized homes take a few hours for inspections to complete. After that, the home inspectors will send the report after 3 – 4 days. This often includes reasonable requests after a home inspection, or any other lender required repairs as recommended by the inspector.
What Happens if Home Inspection Fails for the Seller?
There are many reasons why a home inspection fails, but the most common one is problems with roofing. It can be as minor as missing shingles, to something significant like the whole roof needing to be replaced.
Plumbing and electricity are what most home inspectors check, so it’s no surprise that it also tops the list of most common repairs. Exposed wires, leaking pipes, and defective water heaters are some of the common things you’ll encounter.
Other notable problems that may trigger a bad home inspection include damage from pests and molds, water damage, and lead paint if you’re selling an older home.
Options for Sellers
If you get a bad inspection report, it’s not the end of the world as you have plenty of options on the table.
The easiest is to repair the issues. Most inspectors will tell you what you should fix from home inspection, so you have at least a blueprint of what can be done.
But another course of action is to sell for a lower price. You might have a smaller profit, but if you’re in a hurry to sell your house fast, this is acceptable.
A Better Alternative – 365 Property Buyers
Inspections can be a tedious part of selling a house, but you’ll be glad to know that there’s a way to avoid all of that. 365 Property Buyer’s process lets you sell your house for cash without the hassle of a traditional home inspection. We evaluate and price your property as-is, with no repairs required. Get your fair cash offer today!