What Happens with a Bad Inspection?

If you get a bad home inspection report on that house of your dreams, what do you do?

First of all, your offer up front should have an inspection contingency that will give you some options at this point, including an opportunity to renegotiate your offer. Having said that, a few problems on your home inspection is not permission to nit-pick. Old paint and stained flooring are things that you would have seen when you toured the home. They aren't a reason now to renegotiate your price! However, bigger problems like rotting cills, non-functioning built-in appliances, outdated wiring, small but urgent repairs that add up to more than a couple % of your offering price are certainly a valid reason for revisiting that offer.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself if you see a problem (or problems) on your home inspection report and are thinking about next steps:

Is the problem on the report one that must be dealt with immediately or just something that should be done eventually? After all, if the problem is one you can live with, you may want to purchase anyway.

Is it possible that this problem has already been taken into consideration in pricing the house? Again, if the asking price of the home was lower than you might otherwise have expected, the current owners could have taken particularly outdated or problem decor into account. They may not be willing to renegotiate. You could lose your chance to purchase if someone else gets an offer in while you are trying to get a price down.

Is it possible that the problem points to a larger problem that might need more attention? If so, you should give some serious consideration to whether to buy or not. You may want to request a more in-depth look at the home before you buy.

Are you willing to walk away because of this? After all, this question is the most important one. If the home is in your ideal neighborhood and you've "fallen in love" with it, you'll need to consider your desires in combination with the state of the home.

What if you decide to renegotiate? We'll consider that next.

Michael

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