Sometimes serious problems are discovered during your home inspection. This is always a big disappointment. Think of what you’ve gone through.
Months of looking online. Sunday afternoons going to open houses. Trips with your agent to see houses. The excitement and anxiety of making an offer. Going through the Attorney Review process. Looking forward to moving in and the house flunks inspection?
The home inspection was awful – what do I do? is the question you ask. How you handle this is extremely important. Here is what I typically advise:
- Go home and think it over. Your initial reaction is emotional. As they say cooler heads prevail.
- Wait for the written inspection report which arrives in 24-48 hours
- Consult with your attorney (and your realtor if you wish).
- Get estimates for fixing what’s wrong.
- Negotiate with the seller for repairs or credits.
- Decide after negotiations have reached their end whether or not you want to proceed.
While the focus is often on negotiating with the seller for repairs and/or credits, this is not what really counts. Most of all do you still want the house even if the seller is willing to do things.
Buying a house is not just dollars and cents. It’s your home. As a result, if the problems found are so upsetting that you no longer want to live there, cancel the contract.
Furthermore there’s your budget. Seller concessions rarely equal the cost of repairs. Therefore if the cost is too high, you’ll probably cancel for this reason alone.
At the same time, over reacting can lose you a house you’ll regret for years. Why? Because prices continue to rise albeit slowly. Hence the next house might be a bit more expensive or not have as many features.
The answer to The home inspection was awful – what do I do? is to carefully think it over, read the inspection report, listen to your attorney and then proceed as you wish.
If you decide that the problems are just too much for you, move on to another home. If you are satisfied with the seller’s concessions, be happy that issues were found before you own it.