After your offer to purchase a home has been accepted, it is important to have the property inspected. An inspection will allow you to discover issues with the house that may have been overlooked, hidden, or simply impossible to spot during an initial showing. In some cases, the seller may agree to pay for any repairs that the property may need before you take ownership of it.
Serious Defects Should Be Addressed Immediately
Issues such as a cracked foundation, a leaky roof, or mold in the basement will need to be addressed immediately. This is because they can significantly reduce the value of the property, and these problems could pose a threat to the safety of anyone who spends time inside of the home.
How to Approach Potentially Expensive Repairs
Let’s say that the roof is in good condition but is starting to show signs that it will need to be repaired shortly. In such a scenario, the seller may agree to pay to have sections of it repaired so that you don’t have to completely replace it for another year or two.
Alternatively, this person might agree to give you a credit equal to half the cost of replacing the roof in an effort to sell it quickly. The current owner of the home may also provide a credit to make other expensive repairs that may not be considered urgent.
All Homes Have Minor Issues
As a general rule, buyers should be prepared to spend some amount of money making minor fixes to their homes after taking ownership of them. Therefore, you should expect to foot the bill for minor issues such as sealing the driveway, getting rid of old carpet, or adding insulation to the attic.
A seller is not obligated to do anything
The current owner of the home that you’re trying to purchase is generally not required to fix any problems that are discovered during an inspection. In most states, sellers are simply required to disclose any defects that they are aware of before the sale closes.
However, if the seller refuses to help resolve your concerns regarding the property’s condition, you can choose to walk away from the deal. Depending on how your offer was structured, you may be able to do so without losing your earnest money.
Generally speaking, you’re free to walk away from a home at any time before a sale is finalized. Therefore, it is in your best interest to hold off on signing a mortgage, title transfer, or other documents until you’re confident that the property is worth purchasing. Your real estate agent, attorney, or other representatives may be able to provide more insight into your rights during the sale process.