Unfortunately, even the most elegant of homes can have problems that might affect your purchasing timeline, make the selling or buying process much more difficult, or even derail the sale altogether. You don’t want to be saddled with a piece of real estate that needs costly repairs to be livable or worth your investment.
But there’s no need to panic. After you’ve found a highly experienced home inspector you can trust and a thorough evaluation of the property is completed, here are some strategies for both buyers and sellers to navigate through these trying times and reach an agreement that works for both parties.
What Could Go Wrong?
After the inspection, you’ll be presented with a comprehensive list of things that need attention. There are many areas that an eagle-eyed inspector will examine closely that might not be up to snuff. Here’s where some of the most common problems are found:
Issues that affect the habitability of the house or that present a clear and immediate danger to your family either need to be dealt with immediately or you should consider withdrawing your offer and looking elsewhere for something safer. You’ll also need to carefully consider if you want to take on the burden of purchasing a piece of property that needs so much work done. How do you even know how to begin?
Take It Step by Step
You’ve suffered through seemingly endless tours, open houses, and rejected offers until you finally found the home you love — only to discover that it’s crawling with pests, the roof leaks, or you might receive an unpleasant shock when you flip a switch. Now what?
Buyers and sellers have several options for how to proceed once a home inspection comes back with significant red flags:
Go For It, As-Is
Sometimes both parties can reach a fair agreement for the transfer of ownership regardless of a sketchy home inspection report. If the buyer has fallen head over heels with the place and the owner is not willing to budge on the asking price, it sometimes happens that the buyer is happy to take on the needed fixes, and everyone walks away satisfied.
Seller Has to Make Repairs
Some issues just can’t be overlooked, such as inoperable bathrooms or unsafe floors. In this case, the buyer can request that repairs are made before the sale is completed. If there are serious problems found during the inspection, then that can have an impact on a bank’s willingness to issue a mortgage. A homebuyer might also be denied insurance if a plan isn’t in place to deal with major repairs.
Negotiate Inspection Items
This is the most common occurrence when serious problems are discovered during this process. But sellers usually are motivated to accommodate a buyer if they possibly can. In this case, the involved parties will need to sit down together and agree on a plan and a new asking price. The potential buyer should do their due diligence to ensure they receive realistic estimates of repair costs and adjust their offer accordingly.
Walking away after you’ve already invested so much time and energy into this venture can be a real bummer. However, sometimes this is the best way to proceed if there are a host of unpleasant surprises and inadequate funds to rectify the situation in a timely manner. Coming across a deal-breaker is a real setback when you have your heart set on a certain goal, but it’s better than signing up for months of construction and inconvenience, and all of the hassle that comes with dealing with contractors and home renovation projects.
The Repairs Rollercoaster
You’ve got a list of things discovered in the inspection that need to be fixed, but which problems should be handled first? The order in which home repairs are addressed can have a huge impact on the livability of your house, as well as end up costing you more money if you take the wrong approach.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if there are several issues all clamoring for immediate attention. This is called “analysis paralysis,” and the best thing to do is consult with a professional — your expert home inspector can give you an idea of how to prioritize and plan.
Here’s a general overview of the order in which you should approach the needed fixes:
- Wiring/ Electrical – faulty wiring can cause tragedies or loss of the property
- Structural – falling walls, caving floors, and trip hazards are injuries waiting to happen
- Roofing – be sure there is absolutely no moisture leaking into the home
- Plumbing – working toilets and running water are absolute necessities
- Kitchen – you and your family need to eat
Your and your family’s safety should be your number one priority when it comes to purchasing a property and making it livable. You can tackle cosmetic issues once these more urgent problems are solved.
Windy City is Here to Help
Purchasing or selling a property is a huge undertaking that involves a lot of variables. Our highly experienced team at Windy City Home Inspections is here to help you with every aspect of getting your house ready to sell or making sure you’re buying the right home for your family’s needs.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, reach out to our caring and knowledgeable staff and we’ll be with you every step of the way towards the financial freedom that comes with homeownership.