How A Seller Should Respond To An Inspection Response

Sticking with the inspection theme from a previous posting, let’s look at the inspection from the Seller’s viewpoint in the form of a question and answer:

Jay, I just received the inspection response you sent over from the buyers. However, there are over twenty-five things the buyer wants me to fix! Is this realistic? This list includes everything from replacing a grate on my cooktop, to replacing a single cracked tile in the kitchen, to having my roof professionally inspected and repaired. This could cost me thousands in hiring consultants just to come out and look at the issues. Help!

Mr. & Mrs. Seller, remember, that an inspector is hired to find all the issues that could potentially plague the buyer, not just now but years down the road. Some agents recommend their buyers simply turn over the entire list to the sellers to see what the seller will get done. Other agents recommend their buyers focus on the most important items to keep the home buying process moving forward.

Regardless of how long the list supplied is, you as the seller have the right to choose what you are and aren’t willing – and able – to do. Items that are easy and inexpensive to fix are items I usually recommend be fixed by the seller. It shows good faith and that you are willing to help the home buying process move forward. However, if you are moving into requests that are very expensive such as major plumbing, electrical and appliance repairs, and issues with the roof or foundation, this is where I recommend the seller consider hiring a professional to assess the situation and determine what repairs need to be made. Buyers can get very nervous when faced with major repairs and the transaction may fall apart if the buyers feel there may be other issues if the maintenance isn’t handled by the seller. And the next buyer who comes along may have the same concerns, but in the meantime, you have lost valuable time and money.

Inspection Report and Keys

Recently, I was involved in a transaction where the Buyer had requested that my Seller replace the furnace and the heat pump prior to closing. Their inspector felt that the coolant in the heat pump didn’t look right so that was grounds for replacement. Since the heat pump was supposedly neglected why not ask for a new furnace? Well that didn’t sit too well with my Sellers so we had the heating contractor, who installed the heat pump and furnace, come out and perform their own inspection. After providing their professional inspection report, the Buyer agreed that their inspector was wrong and we moved on from this issue. By having a professional come and assess the situation, it saved my Seller close to $10,000!

So before getting frustrated with a long list, sit down and read through it. Get the easy items complete and determine what and how you will do about the rest. Don’t get overwhelmed.