First Time Home Buyers Inspection Report Repairs

Dated: 08/01/2018

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First-Time Buyer’s Inspection Report—Repairs?

As a real estate agent, I recommend that every buyer client have a home inspection.  The purchase of a home is likely one of the most expensive investments we make in a lifetime and why not go into it with the confidence that a home inspection offers.  The buyer selects (and pays) the home inspection company and the inspector(s) work for the buyer.  The buyer should ask questions, expect a complete inspection and receive a written report documented with photos of the items mentioned in the report. 

The next thing that happens is the receipt of the written report with photos.  At that point, the buyers should read through the report to determine the number of repairs needed and the extent of those repairs as well as what needs to be done to get the home ready for move-in.   Usually, the reports are separated into several sections including an introduction with information for the client, key concerns, notes on general improvements recommended, a section with items of less concern that may be repaired or replaced at the buyer’s discretion, a list of safety issues and overall, items that generally should be monitored. 

The seller may agree to repair or replace all or some of the items requested for repair.   Keep in mind that you are not purchasing a new home and a seller is not likely to make substantive changes to a home he/she is ready to sell.  For example, if the toilet leaks and the dishwasher will not wash an entire cycle, most likely the seller will consider the request.  However, if you don’t like the color of a wall or don’t like the hardware on the cabinets, you shouldn’t expect the seller to change them.  You will be able to make those minor changes after you close on the purchase of the home. 

It’s not easy to determine which repair items to request.  Your real estate agent should guide you through the list of items and help you prioritize the repairs.     I always look at the items of main concern and then move on to the safety items followed by other minor issues. 

Most sellers will consider reasonable requests for repairs, particularly if photos are included.  They have an interest in getting to closing so they can move on to the next home.  First-time buyers, wading through the inspection report, considering which, if any, items to request for repair usually requires the assistance of a real estate professional.  Seasoned buyers have few, if any, issues selecting items for repair and may be super-quick to respond to counteroffers on the repairs.  The best advisor when selecting items for repair is your agent.

If you are in San Antonio or the surrounding area and not working with a real estate agent, I’m available.  If you are planning to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months, it’s not too early to start talking about it now.  Happy Summer!

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Sharon Miller

Sharon is a military wife who moved at the direction of the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years, a Federal employee who retired after 30 years of service, an active Broker Associate/REALTOR in San Antonio w....

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