You’ve found the home of your dreams, and you’re preparing to make your offer. As you consider price and terms, be sure to include one of the most critical components of the offer – a home inspection contingency. The contract should clearly identify how any reported problems will be rectified.
By including a satisfactory inspection in the terms of the contract, you give yourself three valuable options if repairs are needed. You can either:
a.) Request that the sellers complete the repairs before closing
b.) Negotiate a price reduction if you expect to pay for the repairs yourself
c.) Withdraw your offer without penalty
That last option isn’t very appealing, especially if you really love the home. However, you must be prepared to walk away if the sellers are uncooperative or the numbers don’t add up.
While the selling market was so hot these last few years, many buyers would forgo the inspection, just so their offer looked better than others, or to get the home before prices increased again. These normal or cooler markets allow you to be more financially sensible and insist on the inspection.
If the inspection proves to be a deal breaker, don’t sweat it, because there will be other comparable homes for your consideration. Chances are, though, that repairs will be minor and the sellers will be happy to cooperate.