The home inspection

Call me crazy, but I feel that Agents for Buyers have some responsibilities that transcend simply “taking the order” (Writing the offer) and arranging the inspection.

Oh!

Simple little things like:

Being present for the inspection . . .

Being present for the debrief from the inspector so as to be able to SEE the issues and understand them to make it easier to negotiate.

Having a conversation with the Buyer that says a little something about what to expect from the inspection process . . . That the inspector is going to provide for us a “snapshot” of the condition of the house at the time of the inspection.

Some of the things the inspector finds may have met current code when they were installed . . . code is different now . . . therefore we cannot require the Seller to bring the house to today’s code unless the issue is a safety issue.

Do NOT rely on any cost estimates provided by an inspector . . . Best to have an “expert give a real opinion and estimate when something major is awry. (I’m appalled that an inspector would provide cost estimates for repairs)

The inspector’s job is to find clear or probable defects present and is not a specialist . . . If she finds issues with the Heating system, an HVAC specialist should evaluate the system.

The goal of the home inspection is to get a read on the structural integrity of the house and the validity of the major systems – Electrical, Plumbing, Roof, HVAC . . . NOT to pummel the Seller over aesthetic choices.

Based on said inspection, most Purchase agreements give the Buyer the option to do 3 things – Accept the property as it is with no required repairs, Require Repairs to be made by Seller prior to closing, or terminate the deal.

If Buyer wishes to require repairs (which is most often the case), the burden falls on the Buyer’s agent to advise that Buyer through the process , , , In my book, advising the Buyer includes sifting through “realistic” issues and tempering unreasonable (per the contract) requests such that the Seller wil be more likely to agree to the repairs that MATTER.

Buyer agent also holds the ultimate responsibility in getting a WRITTEN Inspection Contingency release including any open issues and/or required repairs, signed by the Buyer to the Listing agent within the prescribed inspection period . . . THEN . . . let the negotiating commence.

All too often, I witness Buyer agents getting this part backwards . . . attempting to negotiate the repairs before preparing the release and passing the deadline thereby putting the Buyer at risk of losing his rights to ask for repairs and/or terminate the contract.

This Inspection process doesn’t have to be cumbersome . . . Just follow the time lines and remember who you represent.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

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About Barry Owen

Residential Real Estate Principal Broker and Founder of Pareto Realty, LLC. Creating the quintessential real estate firm with emphasis on "Live, Work, & Play" balance . . . and a true Performance Oriented environment for Real Estate Professionals. Serving the Real estate needs of Home Buyers and Sellers in Middle Tennessee.
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