Common Repairs Needed After a Home Inspection: What Must Sellers Fix?

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If you’re selling your home, you might wonder if there are common repairs needed after a home inspection. Most buyers, after all, won’t commit to purchasing until there’s been a thorough inspection.

If your home inspection turns up flaws that your home buyer wants fixed, what then? Rest assured – there’s no need for you to fix everything; a home inspection report is not a to-do list. Inspection repairs fall into 3 categories: 1) ones that are required, according to the inspector; 2) ones that typically aren’t required; and 3) ones that are up for debate. Here’s how to know which is which.

Common repairs required after a home inspection

There are some fixes that will be required by lenders before they will release funds to finance a buyer’s home purchase. Typically, these address costly structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues (sometimes in the attic, crawl spaces, and basement, and those related to the chimney or furnace).

An inspector will also check whether your septic system and heater are in good condition and verify whether there’s a possible radon leak or the presence of termites. Other conditions include those related to the roof, electrical systems, plumbing, and the HVAC system.

If a home inspection reveals such problems, then odds are you’re responsible for fixing them. Start by getting some bids from contractors to see how much the work will cost. From there, you can fix these problems or offer the buyers a credit so they can pay for the fixes themselves.

Repairs that aren’t required

Cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear that’s found by the inspector usually don’t have to be fixed. But, be sure to check your local ordinances to know which fix-its legally fall in your realm of responsibility.

Repairs that are negotiable

Between fixes that are typically required and those that aren’t is a gray area that’s up for grabs. How you handle those depends in part on the market you’re in. If you’re in a hot seller’s market, then you have more power to call the shots.

However, in a normal market, you won’t be able to draw such a hard and fast line related to an inspection. Work with your real estate agent to understand what items you should tackle and where you might want to push back. You’ll want to be reasonable, and it’s likely in your best interest to accommodate some fixes rather than allowing the buyer to walk away.

How to negotiate home fixes

Here are 2 sneaky but totally effective ways to handle this home hurdle that’s been uncovered by your inspector:

  • Offer a home warranty.
  • Barter for something of value to the buyer. You can suggest to your real estate agent to ask the buyer’s agent if the buyers want appliances or furniture. But, wait to make that offer until after they get the inspection report.

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