Letting an inspection on a property is a standard part of the buying process so you know exactly what you’re getting into. An inspection gives you a good idea of the condition of the house and if there are any problems or big repairs needed.
Every buyer and seller hopes that the inspection will come back with a gold star and that everything will be good to go. But sometimes that doesn’t happen. Now what do you do?
If you’re the buyer, you’ll work with your agent to negotiate repairs with the seller. You’ll tell them what’s wrong and make a request for them to fix it.
While you can choose to do all the repairs yourself, sometimes lenders will require that certain repairs are completed before they’ll provide you with the mortgage. Usually, this is just for the big problems like water leaks, structural damage, and things that make the home dangerous to inhabit.
After you talk with the seller, they can agree to fix the problem or offer “repair credits.” This is basically money off the purchase price so you can make the repairs yourself. (This is why you should always negotiate if repairs need to be done!) However, the seller also has the option to decline to make any fixes or offer repair credits and send back terms to the buyer.
Negotiations can go back and forth for a while, but usually the buyer and seller will come to a favorable agreement. However, sometimes the seller won’t want to do any repairs and will stall the negotiation. If there is an inspection contingency in the purchase agreement, which is typical, the sale could be canceled.
Buyers, therefore it’s important to be ready to walk at any point in the buying process–you can save yourself from getting stuck in a bad deal if you remember the big picture and work through real estate decisions with logic rather than emotion.
But most of the time inspection problems are handled quickly so the sale can progress. With a great agent on your side, you’ll be able to make the most of the inspection and negotiation process, so you know you’re getting a good deal on a good property.