Buyer’s Home Inspection Threatening the Deal — What are My Options?

You’ve done all the preparatory work to get your house ready for sale. Save one thing — you didn’t schedule and conduct a pre-listing home inspection. And now, the buyer’s home inspection reveals material defects. You’ve never even heard of the term “material defects” until now. But, you’re seriously worried the buyer will exercise the home inspection contingency clause in the purchase agreement for a clean out and walk away with the earnest money deposit.

Buyer’s Home Inspection Presenting Deal Killing Problems — Seller Options

The fact of the matter is, about 10 percent of all residential real estate transactions fail to close. For some of those transactions, it’s due to a home inspection uncovering material defects. These are issues which are “…a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people,” as defined by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

…the buyer’s home inspector came through, and the seller was stunned at what happened next. Real estate specialists say sellers should take home inspection reports seriously, especially when they reveal hidden defects of major importance. But they say no seller should let himself or herself be bullied into major price cuts for superficial “defects” that were obvious to the buyer when the offer was made. —Los Angeles Times

Now, you’re very anxious the deal will fall through and you’ll have to go through the entire process again. You wish you never heard of material defects but it’s absolutely consuming every moment of your waking life. Well, all is not lost. You can save the deal currently in-place. But, that’s going to come with compromise. And, it’s you as the seller who must decide what’s the best path to take. Here are some seller options to resolve a buyer’s home inspection that’s threatening the deal:

  • Make repairs. It’s very possible you had no idea the issue(s) even existed. But now the problems are out in the open, you’ve got to make a decision. The buyer will probably request repairs be made and you pay for said fixes. So, that’s one option at your disposal. Make the repairs to save the deal.
  • Give concessions. If the issue(s) are large enough, you might not be in a position to take on such a burden. Another option is to meet the buyer at least halfway. You could pay for part or most of the repairs and give other concessions to entice the buyer.
  • Lower the price. In some instances, it’s just not feasible to make any repairs because the seller is under a deadline and any delay will be too costly. It could be due to relocating for a job but whatever the case, there’s no time to spare. So, lower the price to salvage the transaction.
  • Let the buyer walk away. Although this isn’t an attractive option, it does present an opportunity to start over. Let the buyer walk away from the deal, handle the situation, and then begin marketing the house again. You can even take it off the market and relist it for a fresh start.

If you are in the market to buy a home here in Orlando, don’t hesitate to make a quick call to learn more about the process, including what to expect during the home inspection and more. Just phone 407-616-7286.