Let’s face it, selling a house can be a tough experience. Finding a qualified agent, deciding on a price, preparing to move and many other things. Then, you get an offer and you can clearly see finish line. The biggest hurdle once an offer is received is often the home inspection. On the surface, the inspection sounds simple enough. The new buyers just want to get a professional set of eyes on their purchase to be sure things are working okay.
Over the years home inspections have evolved a great deal and the inspectors are now pickier than ever. It’s worth pointing out that most inspectors really don’t set out to cause problems and be difficult for sellers. It’s more a matter of us having picky buyers both pointing out things they want in the report or, worse, calling us after an inspection to complain about things we “missed”.
After the soon-to-be homebuyer has the inspection done they will often try to askfor some repairs or get a credit (money), presumably to have the repairs done themselves after the house is theirs. When this is presented to the home seller it usually opens a negotiation of sorts. As with any negotiation, there is really nothing you MUST do. It’s more an opportunity for buyers and sellers to come to an agreement as to who will pay for some things the house needs.
I often hear sellers lament that they were, “required” to fix something to sell their house and in most cases this is not accurate. There are some things that different states or municipalities can “require” but they are generally minor.
As a home seller you are completely within your rights to refuse to perform most repairs or credit buyers for things after a home inspection. Of course, the buyers also have the right to not buy your house. The most important thing to remember is that it is a negotiation and you should not feel pressured to do things.
Like any negotiation, the person who is willing to walk away has the most power so housing market conditions can play a huge role. If it is a strong seller’s market, a buyer will have trouble finding a house so asking for a bunch of repairs may not go over well with that seller. They will just accept another offer. Conversely, in a strong buyer’s market, a seller is often wise to take care of a buyer’s requests since it can be a challenge to get an offer.
Always remember as a home seller that you ultimately have the power to determine your fate when selling your house and little, if anything is REQUIRED to be done as a result of a home inspection.