Mastering Home Inspection Repairs: Your Ultimate Guide

Let’s be honest: Home repairs after a home inspection can feel daunting. Yet, it's crucial to address buyer-requested repairs before closing on your property. As we navigate the closing process, let's discuss the most common home inspection repairs and how you can effectively manage them.

Common Home Inspection Issues: What to Expect

A list of common home inspection issues is one of the first things you'll encounter after a home inspection. These are the typical problems that buyers might ask you to fix. Some buyers may not ask for much, especially if you've maintained your home well. However, it's common for buyers to request some repairs, even for the most maintained homes. Let's break down the most frequently encountered issues:

  1. Electrical Problems: Outdated or faulty wiring can be a major concern. It's essential to address these to ensure safety.

  2. Plumbing Issues: Leaky faucets, running toilets, and outdated pipes often make the list.

  3. Roofing Concerns: Missing shingles or signs of water damage are red flags buyers will want fixed.

  4. Foundation Cracks: Even small cracks can be a big deal. A professional should inspect and repair them.

  5. HVAC System: An old or poorly functioning HVAC system can be a deal-breaker for buyers.

For more detailed information on these issues, check out This Old House’s guide on common home inspection issues.

Mandatory Home Repairs: What You Must Fix

Some home repairs are not just requests from buyers; they are mandatory. Depending on the type of financing the buyer is using, certain repairs might become conditions that must be cleared before closing. These typically fall under health and safety conditions.

Health and Safety Conditions

Think about things like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If these are required in your state and your home doesn’t have them in every room, you’ll need to add them. For instance, in Las Vegas, Nevada, we have something called earthquake straps. These straps are required around water heaters to meet safety standards. Without them, the lender may not release the funds for the buyer to close on the home.

Discuss these issues with your listing agent to get a full list of health and safety requirements specific to your area. It's better to address these issues proactively than to wait for them to arise during the appraisal.

Cosmetic Issues: What You Don’t Have to Fix

Not all repairs are mandatory. Some issues fall under the cosmetic category, meaning they are not required to be fixed but are often requested by buyers. Cosmetic issues might include:

  1. Touch-up Paint: Minor wall scuffs or nail holes from hanging pictures.

  2. Small Repairs: Fixing a broken cabinet door or a loose tile.

While taking care of these issues is polite and often beneficial, they are not normally deal-breakers. However, if you agree to fix them in writing, they become part of the closing agreement. Always discuss these issues with your real estate advisor to understand what is expected and what can be negotiated.

Negotiating Home Repairs: The Art of the Deal

When it comes to home repairs, negotiation is key. Once you’ve taken care of mandatory repairs, the remaining items on the list can be negotiated. Consider repair requests as a “honey-do” list—these items should be fixed but aren’t necessarily critical.

Examples of Negotiable Repairs

  1. Leaky Toilet: A slow-dripping toilet can be fixed easily, but it’s often a negotiable item.

  2. Service HVAC: Regular maintenance requests for HVAC systems can fall into this category.

It’s essential to keep an open mind and be respectful during negotiations. Sometimes offering something of value, like a home warranty, can make a significant difference. A home warranty provides peace of mind for the buyer, knowing that major systems and appliances are covered for a specified period.

For more on negotiating repairs, The Balance offers a comprehensive guide.

How to Negotiate Home Repairs: Best Practices

Negotiating home repairs effectively involves clear communication and a willingness to compromise. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Offer a Home Warranty: This can provide the buyer with peace of mind and potentially offset the need for some repairs. A 12-month home warranty is a common offering.

  2. Provide Credits: Instead of making every repair, you might offer a seller credit towards the buyer’s closing costs or down payment. This can be a win-win solution.

  3. Barter Items of Value: If you have a high-value item like a smart refrigerator, consider leaving it behind instead of making certain repairs.

Understanding the nuances of home inspection repairs can make the closing process smoother and more efficient. Being prepared and informed is crucial for addressing mandatory repairs and negotiating cosmetic issues. Always consult with your real estate advisor to ensure you're making the best decisions for your situation.

Remember, taking care of these repairs helps close the deal and ensures the new owners start their journey in a safe and well-maintained home.

For more insights and tips, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.

Please contact me if you plan to buy or sell a home in the Las Vegas, Nevada region. 

Thank you for reading. Peace be with you. 

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