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When we have a home inspection done, do we get to re-negotiate the price?

January 4, 2011

Dear Andrea, when we have a home inspection done on our New Milford, CT purchase, do we get to re-negotiate the price?

Inspection ManThis is a question I hear over and over again. In my opinion, this is not the right train of thought to be on. If this is a typical re-sale, there will be a few things on the inspection. After all, the inspection will be your guide to a used product. We are going to assume that there will be certain items that the seller will fix. Here are a few examples:

  • Radon levels are higher than recommended. We want the seller to install a radon mitigation system. Once in place, you are good to go. Generally this is a $1,200 fix for the seller.
  • The water has high levels of coliform bacteria. This is a typical problem, we will ask that they shock the well and have it retested again.
  • The D-boxes are broken on the septic system. Again, easily remedied. The seller should turn the house over with a fully functioning septic system.
  • The septic system needs a riser installed. This is one of those things that I do ask the seller to fix. The codes have changed, and this is something that should be up to date. A simple fix, it raises the height of the septic system lid.
  • The deck railings are not up to code, the openings are too big. I check to make sure that the deck has a permit if it was an addition to the home. The real question is, was it up to code when it was built? If yes, in most cases you will have to deal with it, making changes later on should you so desire.
  • The house does not have the proper GFI’s installed. Most inspectors will explain this is a simple, $10 fix. Unless there are other electrical items that need to be addressed, most likely you will either pay someone to do it, or do it yourself after moving in.

Items that may cause us to go back to the negotiating table:

  • The roof is shot. This is a biggie. Yes, we will be asking for something if we did not figure the price of a new roof in the price of the home.
  • There is evidence of significant water being in the basement. Again, we will want to investigate this further.

The biggest issue can be an in-ground oil tank. Yes, they still exist, and we seem to be seeing more pop up again. This is something I will have already addressed in the offer to purchase, if we knew about it. If we find out during an inspection, I will be advising you that the seller needs to address this issue, this is something you do not want to be responsible for. Your attorney will be advising you the same!

Of course this list is not complete, but the above items are typical things we run across during re-sale inspections. Going in with the idea that you will use inspections as a weapon to re-negotiate the price is not a good idea. Getting certain items addressed is what we are looking to accomplish! So, all in all, there may be a few give and take items, but really, using a home inspection as a tool to re-negotiate the price of the house is not the train of thought we want to be on! 

(If this is a foreclosure or short sale, we will probably be having a different conversation.)

 

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