Here are some tips for buyers about what to do when you get a bad home inspection.
You spent weeks trudging through home after home and you finally found it, the perfect home. You offered and counter-offered and finally got it! But now your excitement has come crashing down. The home inspection came back with some problems that were a bit more serious than replacing some woodwork or painting. So what do you do now?
First, take a deep breath. Step back and remember the reason why you got the home inspection in the first place. Would you want to go through with the sale and then find them? Of course not. Home inspections are done to protect you; to find any troubles before you buy, so be glad things were found. Anyone who’s been through it will tell you that emotionally it’s no fun, so step back, get some perspective and then act.
Next, turn to your Realtor for help. They’ve been there before and know what is fixable and what you should run from. Your Realtor will be able to get professionals into the home to see the extent of the problem or problems and then get estimates for fixing it. Then you can make smart decisions about whether to walk away from the contract or negotiate who will fix it. You’re best bet is to remember that if the sellers won’t negotiate, walking away may be the best bet.
If the sellers will negotiate there are a few things that you need to decide with your Realtor. First, how much can you afford to contribute to the repairs? Then take that figure and decide do you 1) just pay out of pocket and do it yourself after settlement; 2) negotiate with the seller to reimburse them for your agreed upon portion of the repairs; or 3) ask for a credit against the selling price or closing costs, If you choose option 1 remember to let the settlement company know the sellers portion of the agreed upon repair costs so it can be paid to you out of the proceeds.
A bad home inspection isn’t the end of the world, or even the end of the contract. Remain calm and think it through.