So now you’ve got a contract on a home, where do you go from here?
Well it goes without saying that you’ll be calling a good home inspector to get your new place inspected. You might also be calling a termite inspector and a radon inspector, depending on where you live and how you feel about that. I always recommend all of those inspections to my clients and give them a list of 3 or 4 professional inspectors who many of my clients have used and would say did a thoroughly good job for them. Typically, you will have about 7 to 10 days to get those inspections done and for you to determine which issues, if any, warrant a request to the Seller for Repairs.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when making a request for repairs. Keep in mind the seller can always say no, leaving you in a position to decide whether you want to take the house without the repairs or whether you will walk away from it at that point. Typically, if you’ve paid close to full price for the home, you are going to expect that things are repaired, however, if you knew going in that the home was a fixer upper and you offered less and the seller took less, you might understand that the seller is not going to have much incentive to fix a lot of things for you. Every circumstance is different.
In a typical scenario, I advise my clients to pay the most attention to items that could affect the integrity of the house, such as water intrusion (whether it be from a leaking roof or a leaking pipe) rotting wood, windows that have lost their seals, other plumbing issues, and certainly electrical issues. Anything that can be a safety hazard should be dealt with, particularly as far as electrical issues go. I feel that minor repairs can fall into the “honey-do” category and don’t always warrant a repair request. But if you as a buyer feel differently, by all means make the request. But again, if the list is extremely long, you may risk antagonizing the seller and forcing him to say no to many items. I prefer to send the whole report from the seller, letting the seller see all the things you did not ask him to fix, so he will be more agreeable to fixing the items that are most important to you.
Back to the radon inspection, if you are unsure what radon is and how it can affect you, you can go the EPA site that discusses it here. In our market here, it is usually expected that if the home tests high for radon, the seller will pay to remediate it. The test will run from $125-$175 and the cost of remediation/mitigation runs from a low of about $600 to $1,200 or more. The same is true with termites as far as the expectation that the seller will treat. Most banks are no longer requiring termite inspections, but I cannot fail to mention that the cost associated with the inspection is so low compared to the treatment of it, that you would be silly as a buyer to fail to get an inspection, knowing that the seller will be bearing the cost of treatment, roughly $500 to $1,000 here in Louisville, KY.
Next Topic: From Contract to Close – A waiting Game, or is It?
You can search for homes in the Louisville KY area for free at my search site. If you have any questions about buying real estate in Louisville, KY, or about homes for sale in Oldham County, as well as the surrounding areas, feel free to contact me at 502-435-5524. I also have a useful tool to help you learn about past sales in your neighborhood called a Market Snapshot. Sign up for the Market Snapshot here.