You did it! You found the home you’ve been looking for. And, of course, you had it professionally inspected. But do you know what to do after a home inspection?
When you’re in the home buying world, be sure that you have expert representation on your side. If you’re considering buying a house in the Portland, OR area, reach out to Julia Monaghan Real Estate. We would love to help you on your homeownership journey.
Why Do a Home Inspection?
Choosing to buy a house is an emotional decision, to some extent. Having a professional home inspection is not only a smart financial move. It can also help alleviate worries about whether you made the best choice.
The inspection report will help you identify concerns that weren’t apparent when you viewed the home and provide an account of things needing repairs. While the inspector can’t possibly see every single area, they do cover a lot of territory.
The report from your inspector will tell you about the condition of the structure. It will include items that need repair, like a leaky roof or window. The report will also include things that may need replacing soon, such as an old water heater.
Most home buyers’ offers include an inspection contingency. This part of the offer protects you and your earnest money in case the inspection turns up more repairs than you are comfortable absorbing.
What To Do After a Home Inspection
Once you and your agent have the report, you’ll need to decide what to do next. You will likely have several options:
- Back Out: Is there any information that has made you change your mind about purchasing this home? Some houses need more work than many buyers are willing to invest. If your home inspection uncovers an expensive or unfixable problem, such as widespread mold, you can cancel the purchase if your contract allows it.
- Renegotiate: Is there anything that you want the seller to address before the sale? Large items such as a new furnace often fall into this category. They tend to be crucial systems that cost some cash. Discuss with your realtor which repairs you should pursue.
- Move Forward: If there are no significant concerns in the report, you don’t need to do anything. Typically, you have a window of time in which to respond after the inspection. If you don’t contact the seller with changes, the contract to buy the house will continue as written.
Deciding Which Items Need Repair Before the Sale
The inspection report can be overwhelming when you first take a look. But remember that it is the inspector’s job to note everything they find, whether it’s significant to you or not.
It can be difficult to decide which items are important. Talk with your buyer’s agent to help you decide how to proceed. Some things are apparent, such as a broken water heater. Others may go on a punch list you’ll address over time after you move into your new home. You’ll have a to-do list ready to go once you move in!
Ask yourself some questions as you decide:
- Does the broken item affect how much you’re willing to spend to purchase the property?
- Are there any repairs that are non-negotiable before you can safely move in?
- Will any of the repairs be part of upcoming plans for the home? If you plan to renovate the bathroom within a year, don’t worry about that broken floor tile today.
- Are some of the problems cosmetic? These fixes that don’t significantly impact the home’s value are best left to deal with on your own. A seller is unlikely to agree to those types of repairs.
Your realtor can help you sort through your list and discuss your options. And they will help you determine which repairs, if any, may be required for your lending to go through.
How To Address Repair Items
You’ve decided that there are a few essential items you want the seller to handle before the sale is complete. What do you do now?
As you will through every step of the home buying process, rely on your agent. They will write an addendum that outlines the concerns to negotiate the home repairs you desire.
The seller will have a set period to respond to your request. If the seller does not agree to the addendum, you still have the option of keeping your purchase contract with them. If you feel your repairs are vital to the sale, you can choose to back out.
Additionally, the seller may come back with an offer outlining which repairs from your list they are willing to make. You will need to work with your realtor to decide if you want to go ahead with that plan.
Another route is to ask the seller to pay for the value of the repair. This amount could come off the purchase price, or you can ask the seller for an allowance.
If the seller agrees to this plan, then you can hire out or complete the work yourself. This choice gives you a lot more control over who does the repairs and eliminates the need for a second inspection.
Do You Need a Second Home Inspection After Repairs?
Often, when sellers agree to repairs, they do as much as they can themselves. Unless it is a task that requires a permit or a licensed contractor, the seller isn’t doing anything illegal. They are trying to save time and money. And they may do a great job!
If the seller will do the work themselves, both parties need to agree to this before the work begins. The contract reads that a licensed, bonded, insured contractor must complete the jobs. In some instances, a handyman or handywoman may do the tasks instead of a contractor.
But if the seller does all the repairs on their own, it might be a good idea to have a new inspection. Without a licensed contractor doing the work, you have no recourse if something is sub-par.
It’s up to you to decide who verifies the repairs after your home inspection. You will also be responsible for this expense unless the seller has previously agreed to pay for it. Ask your home inspector if they offer a limited re-inspection of repairs. They often perform this service at a lower rate than the initial inspection.
Important note: Your home inspector legally cannot offer to perform repairs they identify in their home inspection report. Don’t ever agree to something like that.
Are You Ready To Find Your New Home?
If you’re thinking about a move, Julia Monaghan Real Estate is here to help. Our team knows the Portland Metro real estate market, and we can put that knowledge to work for you. From Happy Valley to North Portland and everywhere in between, we have you covered. Reach out today to get started.