5. Home Inspection

Buyer Contingency: Home Inspection

We strongly recommend that our buyers have a professional inspection of the home and property. As defined in the purchase agreement, the purpose of the home inspection is to check for material defects -- serious issues -- in the home’s major components and systems.

The home inspector may recommend that the buyer have specialty inspections for concerns or problems that are beyond a general inspection.

Specialty inspections can include the foundation, electrical systems, masonry (e.g. the chimney or walls), or the roof. If the buyer asks for time to do additional inspections their attorney will ask to extend the review period.

Learn more about home inspections

Negotiating Inspection Requests

The home inspection report will be many pages long and have lots of great information for you as the next homeowner, but there may be issues called out that could worry you. 

Remember that the purpose of the home inspection is to identify material defects in the major systems of the home, such as plumbing and electrical systems, mechanicals like the AC and heating, the roof, and foundation. 

If an item or system is noted to be at the end of its useful life but works as intended, e.g. the heat comes on, then the seller is not required to replace it or give you a credit.

How we negotiate requests will depend on the seriousness of the issues, how much you want the house, and the market in your area. Most sellers agree to at least a few repairs because it’s usually best to keep the buyer you have than to go back on the market and find a new one. But if it’s a hot market the seller might say no to doing anything and cancel the contract.

If the seller declines to repair a material defect and the buyer cancels the sale, the seller and listing agent must disclose this to future buyers.