Common repairs needed after a home inspection
The home inspection is a stressful time for both buyer and seller. If you are a seller, you might be concerned about major issues that could interrupt the sale. If you are a buyer, you may concerned about missing a costly issue. There are a number of common repairs needed after a home inspection. Here are some that you might want to be prepared for.
Categories of repairs
There are three categories of common repairs: the “must have”, the “need to have” and the “want to have”. The repairs that must be done are typically required by a lender in order to get a mortgage. Repairs that need to be done might be dictated by the buyer, deal breakers, if you will. The repairs that are in the “want” category are negotiable items that a buyer desires but are up to the seller to agree to.
Common repairs that must be done
Some examples of common repairs that will be required to be completed before closing are things like building code violations, structural issues, or things that affect safety, such as electrical issues. A lender may not agree to give a buyer a mortgage unless required repairs are completed.
Building code violations differ from state to state and the inspector will be aware of what the building code violations are for your area.
Common repairs that fall in this category are major roof issues, foundation issues, septic issues, radon issues, termites, general plumbing problems and heating and cooling systems.
Common repairs requested as a condition of the sale
Some examples of common issues found during the inspection which are not requirements to fix but still needed by the buyer include major cosmetic damage, window issues, drainage issues, issues with the outside of the home, such as loose shingles or rotten boards.
These issues may seem reasonable to ask the sellers to either repair before the sale is finalized or compensate the buyer to fix themselves. Repairs in this category may affect the integrity of the home and protection from the elements and also livability.
Other repairs in this category are building code issues that are not necessarily requirements to fix in order to get a mortgage. The buyer may wish to be fully up to building code standards, which could include railing fixes, deck repairs or removal, and room changes or removal, such as an illegal basement bathroom, for example.
Of course, a seller would have the right to decline to repair non-essential issues.
Common repairs wanted by buyers
Depending on how hot or cool the real estate market is at the time of the sale, a buyer may have leverage to request cosmetic repairs. Repairs such as to doors and door hardware, removal of carpet, repairs to walls, upgrades to rusted or damaged finishes. And, if a home has had a smoker living in it for many years, a buyer might request fumigation, painting and other remedies.
This category of repairs may not affect livability, and repairs could be made before the sale, or a seller could compensate the buyer to make the repairs after the sale. This happens more in slower markets where buyers have more negotiating power.
How to make sure you don’t miss an inspection issue
A standard home inspection will not always uncover all issues, or even all major issues. Costly issues can remain hidden from view – things like sewer pipe integrity or termite damage (if all wood is covered so that inspectors can’t inspect it, for example). Be sure to read this article “What if the home you buy has a lot of problems” which tells you how to make sure you have a good inspection, things to look out for on your own, and how to protect yourself against costly repairs.
Also, because missing inspection issues can turn what might be a good investment into a bad one, check out this article “How to improve your return on investment when buying a home” which is full of great inspection tips.