Who Pays for Repairs After a Home Inspection?
Everyone knows that a home inspection is an integral part of the sale. However, what leaves many people stumped is the following question: Who pays for repairs after a home inspection? Well, the answer is somewhat complicated, but you can read on and find out!
Repairs considered obligatory
Now, when asking who pays for repairs after a home inspection, we should preface the discussion with a disclaimer that there are no ‘true’ obligatory repairs. A seller can freely market their home as a ‘fixer-upper’, which would effectively mean washing their hands of repairs and improvements. Similarly, you can negotiate to have the seller do repairs outside the scope of what would typically fall on their shoulders. However, there is a list of repairs that are typically considered something a seller must go through with if they want to secure a sale in a timely fashion. In some states, it is even a legal obligation for sellers to remove anything that could pose a severe threat to the health and safety of the new owners.
Rotten floors, unsafe railings, crumbling or damaged supports. In short, anything that could present an immediate danger to the next person who owns the house if they do not know about it. And, in some cases, such as with a crumbling ceiling, even if they are forewarned. Keep in mind that such repairs take the longest, so you need to have a firm grasp on how long a home inspection takes if you suspect your property has some and you want it on the market quickly. Otherwise, you might find your plans delayed.
The most common example of dangerous mold is Stachybotrys, also known as ‘black mold’. This particular type of mold can cause respiratory damage, headaches, diarrhea, a host of flu-like symptoms, and even memory loss. It should, therefore, be rather obvious why it is obligatory to have all instances of the mold thoroughly removed from a house before putting it on the market. In fact, it is generally considered mandatory to inform future owners that the house did have a black mold problem in the past.
Severe water damage
Water damage has severe implications for a house. We have already discussed the dangers of black mold. And water damage considerably increases the odds of such problems popping up. In addition, water damage can cause a whole other host of issues if not correctly handled. Foundation issues are one such example. And anything that deals with the very foundation of a home tends to be extremely expensive and difficult to fix, which can often discourage buyers from considering a home at all. So, it is in the seller’s best interest to handle water damage on time.
Fire hazards and electricity problems
It should be obvious why fire hazards and wiring issues are always on the list of state-mandated repairs if such a list exists at all. Fires are the most dangerous threat any homeowner can realistically face in areas not prone to earthquakes. And even then, fires tend to do more damage than earthquakes do.
The experienced professionals at State to State Move have handled furniture from infested homes more than once. And they warn that such furniture is often far too damaged to be used long term. For this very reason, due to the sheer damage pests can cause, most people will immediately abandon any intention to purchase a property if it is infested. And any good house inspector can easily spot such issues! Not to mention the fact that infestations can become a severe health hazard.
Dangerous chemical removal
Any reliable home inspection services in New York know that commonly used building materials from the past are actually pretty dangerous in terms of health. Lead paint, asbestos, and radon are just some of the examples. Such materials were lauded for their cheapness and reliability. However, with age or damage, they turn into serious chemical hazards. You should have them removed from your home even if not planning to sell. Keep in mind that the seller must remove such dangers before buyers agree to purchase the property.
Superficial or aesthetic damage to a home is a matter of negotiation. So, when discussing who pays for repairs after a home inspection, agreements between the buyer and seller are everything. Of course, if planning to leave New York, you likely want to come to a home that looks nice. After hiring movers to handle your long-distance relocation, even minor repairs and improvements will likely seem too daunting. So, even if they have to share the costs, most buyers will typically arrange for the sellers to oversee such repairs before they move.
Finally, when it comes to who pays for repairs after a home inspection, the costs come down to the buyer if the issues are not threatening, urgent, or significant. Reliable home inspectors could find problems such as faulty fixtures or a leaky toilet tank. But sellers typically feel disinclined to take care of those. Similarly, if you want to make sweeping changes while dealing with the problems in your new home, the seller will definitely not support the notion. There is such a thing as boosting the value of a home through renovation. But then you, the buyer, would need to offer a price that would tempt the seller into doing them. Which ultimately means paying for it all yourself.
Now that you know a bit more about who pays for repairs after a home inspection, you should be ready to tackle the sale or purchase of a home! And if still unsure, follow this logic: If it is dangerous to live around, then the seller fixes it. If it’s not, it is down to the buyer or negotiation.
Megan Calcent is a retired home inspector with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She loves to browse forums and blogs about real estate and has even started to write her own blog posts to help people with the knowledge she has accrued in the field.