Updated: Jan 13, 2020
You have completed the home inspection on the house you are under contract to purchase and there are issues that were found! This is not unusual and you should not panic at this point! It is rare that a home inspection finds almost no repairs to be done, even on new construction!
So what do you do if there are home inspection items on the house? If you are not purchasing the home "as is", then you can negotiate these inspection issues! You will want to make sure that you are in compliance with the terms of your contract, but if you are using the contract that we normally use in the Richmond Virginia area, then there is a process that is spelled out.
So the first thing you will want to do is to make sure that you understand what the inspection paragraph says (hopefully this was something you and your Realtor discussed at the time you wrote the contract up)! At the beginning of October, 2019, there was an optional paragraph added to the contracts in Richmond that allows a buyer to terminate the agreement in lieu of submitting a Repair Addendum to the seller. If you checked this box at the time you wrote up your offer, then if you decide that you want to terminate the contract, then you do not need to negotiate the contract.
But, if you did not check this optional box, or if the seller during your contract negotiations, would not agree to allowing this optional paragraph to be checked, then once you have completed your inspections you may choose to negotiate the repairs that are needed at the house!
So what are your choices?
Negotiating the repairs can be a little bit tricky! Unless you are buying the house as is, you pretty much are required to negotiate the repairs with the seller before you can terminate your contract! You need to know just what is considered a "defect" in the house (your contract spells this out, but you and your Realtor should have discussed this at the time you were writing up your offer). There are time frames specified in the contract that you need to adhere to - a 7 day "Negotiation Period" and a 2 day period after the "Negotiation Period" ends in which the Purchaser can either terminate the contract or accept in writing the seller's last response!
Buying a home is definitely exciting, but you need to keep in mind that no home is perfect, even the brand new homes! Doing your home inspection is the best way to do your due diligence on the home you are planning to purchase! Should you ask for everything on the report? That depends on what the inspector finds (if it is a lot of major repairs such as electrical and plumbing and HVAC and structural - then you probably want to negotiate those items) - it depends on your offer that was accepted (if your accepted offer is below the asking price, you may not want to ask the seller to do the very minor small repairs) - it depend on the market you are in (if you are in a seller's market where there are lots of buyers for the house that you are under contract to buy, then you may want to only ask for the major items and not the small little items)!
If you are thinking of buying a home in Richmond, Virginia and have questions, feel free to get in touch with