Home Inspection & Negotiation

August 24, 2008 · Print This Article

This article was written for the Vail Sun (local newspaper), for an up coming home buyers seminar. The article took a few hours to write but it was well worth the FREE exposure.

Home inspections are now considered a necessity by many Realtors and for good reason. Clients who do not want a home inspection are often times asked to sign an advisement notice. Something that says that they were counseled to have an inspection done, but decided otherwise. Making a client acutely aware of the importance of a home inspection is now stock and trade for anyone in the Real Estate profession. 

Why is it that important? After all it’s another few hundred out the door and the fee’s are piling up. We’ll for the buyer, it’s a built in re-negotation tool. The standard real estate contract has a satisfactory (to the buyer) home inspection contingency clause.

In Arizona, after acceptance of an offer, there are no more counter offers except in the case of a contingency such as a home inspection. You can’t just decide not to buy the place without giving up your escrow funds unless a contingency is in force.

If a buyer is not satisfied with the condition of the property he can ask for the escrow funds to be returned and continue his house search, or, if he still likes the home but not at the cost of repairs, request of the seller, re-negotiated terms covering some or all of the anticipated costs.

The seller upon notification of an unsatisfactory report, also has the right to refuse further negotiations, return the escrowed money’s and wait for another buyer, or, the more probable response, re-negotiate the terms with respect to the inspection report.

In a buyers market, this is powerful stuff that can save you big dollars if the property needs some work.

Having major repairs or large maintenance issues addressed at the negotiation table will greatly enhance the homeowner experience. Not to mention keeping some of your hard earned cash in your pocket.

A client last week sent me an email expressing thanks for the great job and gave me a few details on how the transaction turned out. She was one of those clients that didn’t think she really needed a home inspection and was sort of talked into it.  In effect she re-negotiated to the tune of $9,500.00 as a result of the report, which was a bit more than the anticipated repairs to the property.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a home inspection on average, returns about 10 times on your money. Not bad odds, and my direct experience proves this out. Just a hand full of the hundreds of inspection I do a year have less than the inspection fee in reported repairs.

Warning: Home inspections are not a commodity, you can’t buy the exact same report from two different providers. The experience and education that each individual home inspector brings to the table varies widely. As such, price shopping for a home inspection is akin to price shopping for a brain surgeon.

Not getting the best you can afford may have dire consequences to your pocket book and rainy day fund.

Bob Kille

Acuspect Home Inspections

www.acuspect.com   520-237-8965

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