Cleveland Ohio Real Estate – What Happens After The Home Inspection
In this article, we will discuss the post-inspection process when buying a home here in Cleveland and give suggestions on how to move forward in a smooth manner in order to get what you want.
At this point in the process, we will assume that you have thoroughly gone over the inspection report and discussed issues of concern directly with the home inspector. While discussion here will be limited to post inspection issues only, you can read about the entire buying process by viewing the link below:
One of the most stressful parts of the home buying process can be dealing with post-inspection issues. Depending on how you proceed, this next step can lead to round 2 of negotiations. Regardless of how round 1 went, this particular step can be very unpredictable
Emotions on both sides are typically heightened at this point as both parties have time and or money vested into the transaction. The buyer has spent money on an inspection and possibly an appraisal, and the seller has taken their home off the market and possibly spurned other offers in hopes that the transaction will go through.
When buying a home in Cleveland, there are 3 official ways to respond to an inspection based on the wording of our standard purchase agreement:
- If the inspection came out clean, you can remove the inspection contingency from the contract
- If a major issue came up, like structural damage to the foundation, you can opt out of the agreement.
- You can remove the inspection contingency from the contract based on conditions that you want addressed.
Since #1 and #2 above are pretty clear cut, let’s talk about how to handle #3.
Normal protocol dictates that a seller will most likely address major health and safety issues either by offering to fix the problem or reduce the purchase price by the amount it would take to fix it. These types of things would include mold or radon remediation, electrical code violations, or anything else deemed by the inspector to be related to health and safety.
Many buyers prefer to submit a cost estimate to the sellers and simply have this amount reduced from the purchase price rather than ask the seller to repair something. This gives them control on how it gets fixed and by whom.
Be aware that every situation is different, so don’t assume a seller will address any and all of these issues.
Here are some important concepts to understand as you move forward with the post-inspection process:
1. The home inspection should not be used solely as a way to re-negotiate a better price. A lot of buyers make the mistake of buying a home, feeling that they overpaid for it ( many buyers feel this way after the initial negotiations ), and then using the inspection report to re-negotiate the price. This is not the best way to view the process.
2. You are purchasing the home in its as is condition and your offer should have reflected this. Your initial offer should have been made based on the current condition of the home and the information you had up front. Asking the seller to reduce the purchase price by $800 to compensate for a hot water tank that you knew up front was 15 years old would most likely be seen as disingenuous to the negotiating process and may hurt your efforts to get additional concessions.
3. An inspectors advice about negotiating should be taken with a grain of salt. While most inspectors stick to presenting the facts, some interject their opinions or thoughts. I once had an inspector say to my buyer ” if it were me, I would make the sellers do ……….” and none of these were health or safety issues. Remember, the inspector is not the one making the buying decision and is not aware of the dynamics of the transaction. The inspector may have great technical skills regarding a home, but that doesn’t make him is a good negotiator.
4. Presenting sellers with a lengthy list of items to fix may be a poor strategy for getting what you really want. A major mistake buyers make is putting together a “laundry list” of things they want the seller to fix, knowing that many of the items are trivial and probably won’t be addressed. The mentality here is that if you ask for 10 items, maybe they’ll do 5. However, this approach may really tick off the sellers and backfire on you.
5. Keep your list short and sweet. If there are only a few items that are really important to you, ask for these to be addressed. Is it worth the risk of alienating the sellers by presenting them with a lengthy list of demands? Your agent can communicate that you could have asked for more things, but asked for only the most important, just to be fair. Sellers will typically appreciate and respond better to this approach.
Before deciding on what items you want the seller to fix, think very carefully about your approach during this critical stage of the home buying process. Being fair, reasonable, and most important, courteous toward the seller shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes getting what you want is all in the approach and the way you ask.
About The Authors:
Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon OH residents. They specialize in Cleveland luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and first-time buyers.
For Ohio and Cleveland OH real estate and homes see Cleveland real estate
For a personal consultation or to speak directly to The Schuman Team, call 216-346-3235.
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Cleveland Ohio Real Estate – What Happens After The Home Inspection is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©May,2010