What Really Matters...
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
Things that lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy or insure the home.
Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller’s disclosure or nit-picky items.
Some Maintenance Issues That Are Common Are...
Bath Fixtures In Need Of Caulking.
Gutters That Need To Be Cleaned.
Sealing Cracks in Concrete to Prevent Further Damage.
Windows In Need Of Caulking.
These Are Typically The Kind Of Items That Would Fall Under Maintenace Issues.
Major Defects And Safety Issues Are Items That Should Be Addressed. These Are Issues That Are or Can Affect The Home In A Number Of Ways. Some Examples Are...
Shingles That Need Replacement.
No Smoke Detectors.
Bath Fans Vented To An Attic Space.
These Type Of Issues Are The Ones That You Want To Be Addressed. Typically Your Realtor Will Send A List Of Items That You Are Asking To Be Repaired To The Sellers Realtor. They Can Respond One Of Three Ways...
This Is Usually The Best For The Buyer, Then You Don't Have To Deal With The Repairs. (Ask For Receipts For Any Repairs Done As Well As Warranty Info.)
Give You Money Off To Fix It...
If This Happens, Be Sure To Get Estimates To Assure You Get The Proper Amount Of Compensation.
They Say They Are Not Going To Address It...
You Have A Choice To Make Now... Is This Something You Can Fix Or Deal With? Is This Going To Affect The Homes Value? Your Option Is To Walk Away The Deal If There Is A Major Defect That The Seller Won't Address.
Don't Worry Though, This Does Not Happen Often!