After there is a contract in place with a buyer and seller, there are some contingencies that need to take place before the closing of the home. Many have to do with the financing, but a major one has to do with the home inspection. As with any significant purchase, no home is perfect. As a way to protect the buyer from finding out issues with the house before they move in, a home inspection is always a good idea. Even in the newest homes, an inspection can tell you things a home builder did, and what some of the issues might be with the house.
After the home inspection, the buyer will be given a run through of the house with the home inspector. They will let them know all the things they noticed from big to small. Once the buyer knows, there may be some things they didn’t expect to have to deal with. These home repairs then need to be resolved.
When a repair is needed whether big or small, the seller is responsible for repairing the item, give credit for it, or refuse. If the seller refuses to fix the issue, the buyer then has the option to take the house in its present condition, or they can back out, and usually, the earnest money is returned.
Because you can find many issues in a home inspection, it is critical to making sure you do this early in the process. Most of the time, the contract will stipulate you have a specific deadline to get the inspection done, so it doesn’t delay the rest of the process. There are many other expenses involved in the closing process, and it would cost a lot of money to put into the closing if the inspection comes through with less than desired results.
Once you do the inspection and the seller is aware of the problems, this becomes a “material fact”. Once something is a material fact, it means that the seller must disclose this to all future buyers. There is a risk of not repairing something because it is a known fact that other potential buyers might also want to be fixed. However, you may find that other buyers won’t worry about the repair.
Another potential problem is not repairing something may cause banks not to lend money to the buyer. They may ask for another inspection that a buyer doesn’t want to deal with.
If the seller does the repair before the closing of the home, the seller can take the home inspector back to recheck the quality of the repair. You will want to do this to make sure you are happy with the house before closing.
There are some situations where the repairs the seller can’t complete the repairs before the closing of the home. There are a few things that can be done to take care of the expense.
- The seller can give you a sum at closing to cover the cost of the repairs.
- The seller can prepay the repair person to do the work.
- The seller can have some of the money held in a trust after closing to complete the repairs.
Houses aren’t perfect, but most people are happy with a home that doesn’t have any major repairs. There are options for both the seller and the buyer and the negotiations can smoothly if you work together to make it fair for both sides.