How to Sell Your Home: What you need to know about Home Inspections

Your home is on the market and you’ve ratified a purchase agreement with potential buyers! Congrats! It seems like smooth sailing from here, but the buyers will be conducting their home inspection in a week. Here is what you should expect for this phase of negotiation.

A home inspection is paid for by the buyers for informational purposes, and to verify that there aren’t any defects in the home that would prevent them from making the purchase. The term “defects” can cause some confusion for buyers and sellers alike, but our Central Virginia Purchase Agreement spells it out clearly.

“The term “defects” as used in this paragraph 16 shall mean (i) a condition which impairs the normal stability, safety or use of any improvements (buildings) on the Property, or (ii) damage to any part of the improvements, but shall exclude any cosmetic flaws, antiquated systems or grandfathered components that are in working order but would not comply with current building code if constructed or installed today. If a system or component is near, at or beyond its projected life expectancy but is properly functioning, then such system or component will not be deemed a defect as defined herein.”

The buyer’s licensed home inspector will be able to determine if items are indeed defects or if they are cosmetic flaws and list them accordingly on the inspection report. If the buyer wants defects repaired before they move in, they will prepare a Repairs Addendum asking for repair of the defective items in your home and present that to you with the inspector’s report.

At this point, as the seller, you will review the report and determine what you are willing to repair or replace. By no means do you have to agree to everything the buyer has requested.

A few things to consider when looking at a Repairs Request:

Is this indeed a “defect” as defined in the contract?

Did they meet your asking price?

Did they ask for closing costs?

Have they been flexible in negotiation so far?

Why did you accept their offer?

Can you offer closing cost credits in place of repairs?

Are you concerned that they may terminate the agreement if you don’t meet their terms?

Do you find the requests reasonable?

What would you counter their request with?

Your trusted Real Estate Professional will help you manage this process, as it is time sensitive. Allow her to share her expertise, but remember that ultimately, you will decide how to navigate through repairs by either making some or all of the repairs, or by offering closing cost credits to the buyer.

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