As a seller, your to-do list is already pretty sizable by the time the home inspection comes around. As you can guess, the home inspection can be quite the point of contention for many real estate deals. If the inspection comes up with some problems, what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection? And, who is responsible for them?
What is the Seller Responsible for Fixing?
In reality, there is no such thing as a “mandatory” fix. Fixes can vary depending on where you live, the state of the market, the buyer’s lender and the contract negotiated between you and the buyer.
Inspections can turn up a list of issues. Some repairs may be deemed necessary to make a home habitable, while others may fall under purely “cosmetic” issues. An important factor in what’s mandatory comes from the buyer’s lender requirements. Buyers using FHA, VA or USDA loans each have particular requirements. Typically, the lender-required repairs will include anything that might affect living conditions.
Some of the most popular categories for fixes that are deemed necessary before move-in are any of the following that constitute as human health hazards or major structural risks:
Mold or Water Damage
Pest or Wildlife Infestation
Fire or Electrical Hazards
Toxic or Chemical Hazards
Old or Damaged Roofing
Who Should Be Paying for Fixes?
Now, the question that is usually the root of problems after a home inspection is: Who has to pay for mandatory fixes?
As we mentioned before, it really comes down to a couple different factors like your negotiated contract and the state you live in. For example, “as-is” contracts in Florida result in the buyer accepting the property in its current condition, meaning they accept all financial responsibility for those fixes.
In most cases, as a seller, you would pay for repairs involving any major issues with the structure. At least learn more about what these repairs involve so you can discuss them with a buyer. There are a few ways to appease a buyer without taking on the responsibility for all the requested repairs.
Offer some appliances that you planned on parting with as compensation for particular repairs (ex. Washer and dryer, refrigerator)
If there are five recommended repairs, offer to complete two of the requests or give credit for the three
In the same event, you could offer to complete two of the requests and give credit for the three
The bottom line is: all repairs are negotiable. As a seller, it’s important to disclose all known issues in good faith and work with the buyer during the inspection process. Make sure you work closely with your real estate agent and attorney to figure out the best option when the time comes.
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