The odds of problems being uncovered during a home inspection are pretty high, no matter how minor. Just about every house has some issues, even new ones.
It’s pretty common for buyers to make repair requests with the seller, especially if certain problems are more significant than others. But while some requests may be reasonable, others are not.
Here are a few issues that are serious enough to be negotiated with the seller and may warrant a reduction in price.
A roof doesn’t last forever. In fact, roofs typically only last a decade or two, depending on the quality of the material being used. Lack of maintenance and inclement weather can effectively reduce the lifespan of a roof, which can compromise its integrity and negatively impact its ability to keep water and moisture out of the home.
If the property you are buying has a faulty roof, that’s reason enough to ask for some repairs. Replacing a roof is a big endeavor, and it’s expensive too. If the seller is aware that the roof requires replacement, it should be factored into the listing price. If not, that warrants a trip back to the negotiating table.
Failing HVAC System
It’s certainly reasonable to ask for assurance that the home’s HVAC system is working properly. The home inspection report will typically involve checking out the condition of this system. If it is discovered that the A/C unit is failing, the ductwork is blocked, or the thermostat isn’t working, for instance, the seller should have no problem with your request to either have it fixed or offer a credit to cover the costs associated with you dealing with the issue after closing.
Not only is water damage unsightly, it can also be dangerous. If you notice any water damage on walls, ceilings, or in the attic or crawl space, there could be a serious underlying issue that should be fixed. Depending on the extent of the water damage, you may want to walk away from the home altogether. The process to fix the issue can be extensive and costly, and you may even be left with dangerous mold.
If you do decide to continue with the transaction, the seller should be open to either fixing the problem before you move in or renegotiating a lower price.
If the water damage in the home is caused by leakage in the plumbing pipes, this is an issue that will need to be dealt with right away. Whether the problem is faulty valves or older pipes, the problem cannot be ignored. Ideally, you should be able to move into your home without having to deal with fixing leaky pipes.
Sellers should already be aware of this problem before they even list their homes and should ideally rectify it before they even list. If not, it’s definitely reasonable for you to ask for this issue to be resolved before you take the keys at closing.
If your home inspector noticed that the cracks in the foundation, sloping floors and “sticky” windows and doors are the result of a faulty structure, you certainly have reason to ask for some sort of compensation. Structural problems with a home can translate into major effort and significant costs to repair.
If you’re even willing to continue with the deal, you should seriously consider renegotiating the price of the home or ask for some sort of credit to pay for the cost of repair after you’ve been given an estimate from a foundation specialist. Otherwise, you could very end up with a money pit on your hands.
Unless the listing specifically stipulates that the appliances in the home are not working and the listing price reflects this, it’s not unreasonable to ask the seller to ensure that the appliances in the home are in working condition before you take possession. If not, you may consider asking for a cash credit to help cover the cost of having to replace the appliances yourself.
Many older homes still have the same electrical system they had when they were first built. Unfortunately, these older electrical systems can be dangerous. For instance, any ungrounded wiring can cause an electrical fire they can cause sparks and an electrical charge that can fuel fire along walls, flooring, or on nearby furniture.
Electrical panels are another issue in older homes. Households from a few decades ago didn’t use nearly as much electricity as we do today, which is why it was common for homes to have 60 Amp electrical systems installed. These days, however, it’s more standard to have a 200 Amp system installed in the average home in order to accommodate all the appliances that today’s average home uses.
If the Amps are insufficient, the home could be vulnerable to an electrical fire. Besides, the majority of insurance companies won’t even insure a property with less than 100 Amp service.
The Bottom Line
Your home inspection report will unveil any issues with a home that you’ll certainly want to know about. While you don’t want to nitpick, you also don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to request that certain repairs are made before you take possession. When in doubt, follow the advice of your real estate professional.