Actually, there’s no such thing as failing a home inspection. It is not a home inspector’s job to advise the buyer to buy or not buy.
What Does the Home Inspector Do?
The home inspector walks through the home, from top to bottom, determines how well the home is functioning, and notes any safety issues.
The home inspection IS very important when you purchase a new home. The inspector will help determine whether there are any major or minor issues, and advise whether they need to be addressed right away. He or she may even advise the buyer about any costly repairs that might need to be made, or about major maintenance required. This is good advice to follow.
Is the Deal Dead?
After the home inspection, the only person with the power to decide whether to walk away from a deal is the buyer.
Every Buyer is Different
A home inspection means different things to different people.
Some buyers get cold feet over very minor issues. Others could care less if the house is falling down, especially if they intended to do extensive renovations anyways.
For example, one of the biggest concerns that buyers have is flooded basements. This could be a valid reason to walk away from a deal, but it doesn’t mean that you have to. You can deal with a wet basement, if you like the rest of the home and property. I have personally bought a number of homes that were flooded or wet, because I wasn’t afraid of a project.
Now, that being said, it is good advice to fix this particular problem right away. Do not let a wet basement simmer. It is a health concern waiting to happen, as it could produce mold.
How to Proceed
Always, when dealing with issues you are not capable of properly fixing yourself, get a few quotes from contractors that know what they are talking about. Ask the contractor to explain what they will do and what their warranty is. Also, if you purchase the home and do the work, invite the home inspector back to check out the work. This may make you feel more comfortable with the end results.
A wet basement is just one example of a home not functioning well.
Before walking away, consider all the other things you love about the home or property. If you want to go ahead, talk to your realtor about next steps. They may have to start thinking outside of the box to get the deal done.
For example, you could:
- Get a few quotes for the work that needs to be done and ask the seller for a price reduction.
- Ask to split the cost of getting the work done with the homeowner.
- Ask if the homeowner is willing to do the work before closing. Make sure the inspector comes back to have a look.
- Check with your lender to see if you can do a “Purchase Plus Improvements” deal, where you add the cost of repairs to your mortgage.
- Find a contractor who will do the work and then submit the bills to the lawyer for payment on closing.
Some of these solutions might need a little more explaining, so feel free to call me for more details! There’s more than one way to put a deal together for a seller that is motivated to sell and a buyer that likes the home or property. I would very much like to hear your questions and comments.