Real estate corner: Home inspection issues

The biggest issues during real estate transactions tend to center around the results of home inspections. Oftentimes in this market, sellers feel as though they have already drastically reduced the purchase price for their buyer and are therefore not willing to make any further repairs or offer closing credits for issues that arise during home inspections. Buyers, on the other hand, want everything repaired, excessive credits, or to terminate the contract altogether. When the parties’ expectations are so far apart, it is sometimes difficult to reach a resolution. When this results in a terminated contract, it is particularly frustrating for sellers who have, at that point, kept the property off the market for a minimum of a couple weeks, losing exposure to the market, having to pay additional carrying costs, and having to explain to prospective buyers that the prior deal was terminated over home inspection issues—a red flag in buyers’ eyes.

Home inspection results almost inevitably devolve into negotiations regarding the final purchase price—a tense process. One of the best ways to avoid this tension is for sellers to spend the money and hire a licensed home inspector to conduct an inspection prior to listing the property. Sellers go through the expense of painting and cleaning their house before listing it, but rarely do they hire their own inspectors to evaluate the house and advise them of potential issues with the home.

At a minimum, conducting an inspection can make sellers aware of the problems with their house. Sellers may choose to repair those items that need to be repaired prior to listing a property so that, when a buyer does come around, issues regarding home inspections are less likely to arise.  Even if a seller does not want to spend money to make repairs to their property, home inspection reports can be shown to the buyer prior to entering a contract so that neither seller nor buyer makes any mistake as to  the “as is” condition of the property. Although we always recommend that buyers conduct their own home inspections, it is less likely that there will be any surprises during the inspection period if sellers act proactively and more deals would proceed to closing.

Have you recently sold or purchased a home? If so, would you have found the above information helpful? Is there a real estate contract with which the Law Offices of Apicelli & Costanzo can help you? Please contact us and let us know.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and is neither intended nor should it be interpreted to be legal advice or opinion.