by Hank Miller
on Monday, November 9th, 2020 at 12:49pm.
Knowing how to resolve home inspection issues can save a deal. This is one of the most emotional parts of a transaction, understand how to navigate it is critical to success. No home, including a new build, will be perfect. Many defects can be spotted by an experienced agent, others need the eye of a skilled inspector. The trick is for both buyer and seller to be reasonable.
Home sellers are not required to complete a seller's disclosure, some homes are sold "as is". If a disclosure is available, buyers will review this along with inspectors as often this document notes issues or problems within the home. However, a seller should not place too much faith in these as there are things about the property the seller does not need to (and in some cases is not allowed to) tell a buyer in Georgia. Sellers are not required to disclose any condition of the property that a buyer would discover upon a reasonable inspection. This would include obvious things like holes in the roof, fire damage or similar clearly noticed things.
Safety and Code Issues
It's best to focus attention on safety and code violations. Every home inspection will have a laundry list of "repairs"; any buyer and agent with basic common sense will expect that. Many times things on that inspection list will be arbitrary; "appears to be", "indications are", "may need" and the like. If that list is simply presented to the seller, the reaction should not be a surprise. However if focus is on something that is more clear cut - like safety and code issues, usually the issues can be worked out. However, keep in mind that homes are built to the codes at the time of construction. A 50 year old home is not likely to be completely code compliant by today's standards; if it functions and is safe, then let it be.
Agent to Agent
Agents are instrumental in keeping a deal together or having it disintegrate. If major issues are found and the buyer gets concerned, it's good practice for the buyer agent to touch base and discuss this with the listing agent. Providing a copy of the inspection and getting additional information from the seller can go a long way toward easing concerns. Conversely, if the seller refuses to acknowledge issues, things have a better chance of resolution if the listing agent picks up the phone. The bottom line is that in may cases, the initial reaction to an inspection report can be relaxed with a steady hand from the agents.
Agents are key to resolution of inspection issues. Focus on safety and code issues and avoid the seller making repairs. It's much easier to establish a cost of repair and reduce the price by that amount.
Repair or Reduce Price
In almost every situation, a price adjustment to reflect agreed upon inspection issues works best for all involved. Sellers typically don't want to have workers in as they're trying to move. Sellers will try to complete things as economically as possible; buyers prefer the best trades and care less about price. It's not uncommon for quality to become an issue; a buyer may feel repairs are not well done but they may meet the terms of the agreement. This can cause last minute issues as misunderstandings due to poorly written amendments are seen. Avoid it all by adjusting price and letting the buyer handle repairs.
Every home has issues and home inspectors are paid to enumerate them. The subsequent challenge is for the buyer and seller to take a deep breath, keep the big picture in focus and work through the situation. In most cases that means keeping it simple, keeping it focused to safety and code issues and keeping it all business. In almost every case, a simple amendment to reduce price will end up being the best course of action. Working with an experienced, veteran real estate agent will make everyone's life easier.
The Hank Miller Team puts 30+ years of full time sales & appraisal experience to work for you. Act with complete confidence & make sound, decisive real estate decisions.
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