When selling your home, you can expect the buyer to request a home inspection. It’s to the buyer’s benefit to identify any potential problems that owners have not already disclosed. You may get an extensive list of potential fixes suggested by the inspector and wonder how you will ever come out ahead if you fix them all. But rest assured, some fixes may not be necessary, especially in a seller’s market.

A seller could attach an as-is addendum as a condition of the sale, indicating they are not inclined to do any repairs. However, it’s important to know that may cut out a percentage of potential buyers, or an offer may be cancelled and the process starts all over again.

Here is a checklist of typical items you might find on a home inspection report.

Both the potential buyer and seller will get a copy of the home inspection. If significant defects are found, such as faulty foundation, electrical issues or other items that involve safety, sellers can expect one or more of these things from a buyer.

  1. A buyer may ask the seller to fix those items
  2. A buyer may want to renegotiate their offer to reflect those repairs so they can fix them after they take possession
  3. They could cancel the contract if they have put an inspection contingency in it
  4. They could accept the Property “As-is” and mover forward with the purchase

If the repairs are mostly cosmetic, buyers can likely deal with that in today’s seller’s market, and use the information on what should be updated in their new home.

Potential financing issues

Funders like the FHA and VA require their own appraisal and may ask a home seller to make repairs before they will release funds for a homebuyer to make their purchase- this could be a contingency of the offer. If deficiencies cannot be worked out, the purchase agreement could be cancelled.

Typically requests address serious issues like structural defects, safety issues or building code violations.

Inspectors will also check your septic system and heater and verify whether there’s a possible radon leak or the presence of termites. They may also report on the condition of the roof, electrical systems, and plumbing lines and the condition of your HVAC system.

Sellers addressing issues before listing

If a seller knows of a defect, it must be declared to all potential buyers in advance. Rather than waiting for an inspection, sellers may want to get bids and fix a major problem before listing. This may allow more time to get bids from different contractors, or possibly do some work themselves if qualified. Alternately, a seller can proactively offer the buyer a credit off the house price so they can make the repairs themselves. That gets the buyer out of overseeing the project and they can move on to their new home.

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