The home inspection in an important step of the buying process and will often make or break a sale. Today we will share some thoughts that will hopefully put things into perspective and help guide you through it.
First and foremost, we highly recommend all buyers have a home inspected by a professional. That being said, we caution buyers to have realistic expectations on what they are looking to accomplish here.
The past few years have seen the inspection process turn into round two of negotiations. Buyers have gotten a little out of control and seem to be asking for sellers to fix everything under the sun, even things they were aware of when they walked through the home ( broken outlet cover, rip in screen door, etc...).
In turn, sellers have become defensive and annoyed as they respond to a laundry list of what they think are unreasonable requests. So why have things gotten so out of hand?
In addition to unrealistic expectations, we feel that emotions also play a major role here.
Think about it, the inspection period occurs when buyers' emotions are at a heightened state. Sure, they are initially exited about their new home. After a few days pass however, additional feelings start to creep in such as nervousness, anxiety, and sometimes even buyer's remorse ( did we pay too much, is this really the right house...). These are totally natural feelings that all buyers experience. If not handled properly though things tend to get magnified and out of hand fast.
Instead of focusing on the really important things, such as health and safety issues, buyers are too often getting bogged down on really minor items. Some are even asking for upgrades to items that are working properly. This part of the process can end up becoming more drawn out than the original negotiations.
We communicate three things to our buyers:
1. Offer A Price Based On What You See And Know - If you are aware that there is a cracked window, or that the roof is 24 years old, build those items into the price. Don't wait until it shows up on the inspection report and then use it as a way to re-negotiate a better price. This is a little disingenuous to the negotiation process.
2. Respond Quickly - Once the inspection report is received, get back to the seller as soon as possible. Although the standard contract will typically give you a certain number of days to respond to the seller ( in Ohio it is 3 days ), dragging out the process may do more harm than good. If you really want the sellers to do something, making them wait on pins and needles for days on end is not always the best way to get their cooperation.
3. Focus On The Big Picture - Don't let pettiness and emotions get in the way of what you really want ---the home. Remaining calm and focusing on the big picture will often get you through it. That, and the help of a skilled real estate agent.
The home inspection process is where many deals fall apart. Stay focused and try not to let your emotions get the best of you, otherwise be prepared for a lot of antacid and sleepless nights.
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About The Authors:
Dan and Amy Schuman are agents with Howard Hanna, the area's largest real estate company. They live in Solon Ohio and specialize in Cleveland Luxury Homes, working with buyers relocating to Cleveland, and first-time buyers.
Taking The Stress Out Of Home Inspections is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©April 2012