What Do I Do in Response to a Home Inspection Report?

What Do I Do in Response to a Home Inspection Report?When you're buying a home, you will have a chance to include a home inspection in the purchase process. This allows you to find out if there are any unknown or hidden issues with the property and be confident about the condition of the home you're buying. If you are looking at homes for sale in Columbus and are in escrow to buy, here's what you need to know about responding to the inspection report. 

Why does a home inspection matter?

Did you know April is home inspection awareness month? Home inspections are an essential part of the home buying process for your own peace of mind. Having a professional third party examine the home and make sure you know what you are getting yourself into is key to being able to move forward with confidence in your purchase. Even in the best case scenario with honest and transparent sellers, there are sometimes costly or dangerous problems with the home that are totally unknown to both seller and buyer. A home inspection is your change to make sure you can buy the home with all the information you need. 

What is a home inspection contingency?

The key to making sure you get to have a home inspection and the opportunity to respond appropriately to it is having a home inspection contingency included in your offer. 

When you submitting an offer to purchase a home in Columbus, we can help you include a home inspection contingency clause. This contingency gives you the right to have the property inspected by a professional home inspector within a specified timeframe, typically 7-10 days. It also allows you to negotiate repairs or back out of the contract if significant issues are discovered during the inspection.

Without a home inspection contingency, you risk purchasing a property without fully understanding its condition, which can lead to costly surprises down the line. Even if you become aware of the issues yourself, without the contingency you stand to lose your earnest money or deal with other penalties. 

What do I do with a home inspection report?

After the inspector completes the inspection, you will be given a report with all the details of what was found and the condition of the home. During the home inspection process, the inspector will thoroughly evaluate the property's structure, systems, and components. While minor issues are common and can often be addressed through routine maintenance, some issues may raise red flags or even be dealbreakers. Here are some examples:

  • Structural Problems: Significant cracks in the foundation, sagging or uneven floors, or bowing walls can indicate structural issues that may be costly to repair.
  • Roof Damage: Missing or damaged shingles, signs of water damage in the attic, or an aging roof nearing the end of its lifespan may require immediate attention to prevent further damage.
  • Electrical Issues: Outdated or faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or safety hazards such as exposed wires pose fire risks and may require rewiring or electrical upgrades.
  • Plumbing Concerns: Leaking pipes, low water pressure, or signs of water damage can indicate plumbing issues that may lead to water damage or mold growth if not addressed promptly.
  • Mold or Moisture Problems: Visible mold growth, musty odors, or signs of water intrusion in basements or crawl spaces may indicate moisture issues that require remediation to prevent health hazards and structural damage.

If a major red flag is present, you need to consider how you want to respond. There are a few ways you can proceed.

You can request that the seller address the identified issues or provide a credit at closing to cover the cost of repairs. We can help you negotiate with the seller to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Alternatively, you may choose to renegotiate the purchase price based on the estimated cost of repairs. This allows you to account for the additional expenses you'll incur to address the issues uncovered during the inspection.

In some cases, further inspections by specialists such as structural engineers, roofers, or pest control experts may be necessary to assess specific issues identified during the initial inspection. These additional inspections can provide more detailed information to guide your decision-making process, including the estimated cost to repair or potential long term ramifications of the issue. 

If the inspection reveals significant problems that are a dealbreaker for you or if the seller is unwilling to address the issues to your satisfaction, you will have the option to walk away from the deal if you've included the home inspection contingency in the offer. In this case, you can invoke the home inspection contingency clause to terminate the contract and receive a refund of your earnest money deposit.

Finding the right home and journeying through the escrow process can be a complex process, or even an emotional roller coaster. We're going to be there to help you navigate the process every step of the way.

"Buying a home can be a dynamic and complicated process, and negotiating to get the best deal is a priority for nearly every buyer." -Greg Smith, Boulder Home Source. We know that you need a team that can help you negotiate the best deal, and that includes addressing home inspection issues; we're ready to be the MVP on your team.

Ready to find your new home for sale in Columbus? Contact us any time. 

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