Right up there with marriage and having babies, home buying and selling can be among the most stressful of life experiences. A seasoned real estate agent with the right temperament can keep all the moving parts of the transaction on schedule and guide you toward a smooth closing.
Perhaps the most unglamorous, but necessary, part of the process is the home inspection. It is a potential minefield where the entire deal can go south if the parties involved become too emotional or unreasonable. Buyers may become overwhelmed by all the information presented in an inspection report and demand that all defects be repaired. Conversely, the sellers may believe that their house is “good enough” and refuse to fix anything!
How can these two parties come to terms? Keeping deals together is what good agents do best! As daunting as it may initially seem, it IS possible to move forward in a manner that satisfies both buyer and seller.
Here are some important things to remember about home inspections:
There are no “perfect” houses. Even brand-new construction will have some flaws or defects. Remember that an inspection is done to point out issues regarding SYSTEMS, SAFETY and STRUCTURE. While it is perfectly reasonable for a buyer to ask for repairs to remedy any issues that speak to those things, it is a buyer agent’s duty to point out the difference between minor issues that could easily be rectified after taking possession of the house, and major issues which may be too costly or cumbersome to address after closing.
The seller’s agent must be able to present the buyer’s repair requests based on the home inspection findings to the homeowner in a clear and impartial manner while advising whether or not the repair requests are reasonable. Also worth noting: a reduction in price may be negotiated in lieu of repair work.
Home inspection is yet another time that the terms of the sale are negotiated. It is important to maintain clear thinking and keep a level head. It is not always easy when people seem to be on opposite sides of the fence. Remember that the goal of both parties is to close the deal – the buyers want to own this home and the sellers want to sell it – and it is the agents’ job to ensure that it does.
Finally, there may be times that a buyer decides that it is not in their best interest to ask for repairs after inspection. For example, if there were multiple offers, and there are other buyers in the wings, a seller could decide to move on to the next offer if he doesn’t want to do any repairs. That is a strategy that may or may not work, depending upon the situation and the nature of the issue. As always, a trusted real estate professional is your best resource.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about home inspections or other real estate issues. I’m happy to help.
Pamela Taylor, Realtor®
EXIT Beacon Pointe Realty
382 W Main St.
Northborough, MA 01532
Direct Line: 508-414-4158