Articles and Advice
If you accepted an offer with a home inspection contingency, be aware that your buyer is entitled to renegotiate or walk away based on the results of the home inspection. Therefore, many consider the home inspection one of the final hurdles to clear before closing.
Home inspections can uncover all sorts of concerns ranging from minor to significant. While you aren't legally obligated to pay for any repairs prior to closing, failing to fix some essential items can ultimately cause the deal to fall through. Below, we'll focus on what sellers should fix and what concerns you can most likely let slide:
Essential Seller Repairs
If an issue uncovered in the home inspection leads to health or safety concerns or raises questions regarding whether the home is inhabitable, it's reasonable for buyers to ask sellers to address it prior to closing. Some of these more serious concerns include:
Again, while the seller doesn't have to make these repairs, the buyer is within their right to walk away if these aren't addressed. Also, in some cases, the buyer's lender may require that some of these issues are taken care of before the buyer can secure financing, especially if the problems are serious.
At the end of the day, everything is negotiable. If you're in a hurry to sell, you can also offer to lower your sale price as opposed to fixing the issues.
While it's usually good to fix doorknobs, loose boards, light switches, and even paint prior to listing your property, sellers generally aren't on the hook for cosmetic repairs or problems caused by general "wear and tear." As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't worry about any minor repairs that cost less than $100. Buyers will most often prioritize the largest, most serious concerns.
Selling Your Home As-Is
Sellers always have the option to sell a home "as is," which signals to buyers there is no room for negotiation on repairs. This might be the best option if you need to sell quickly regardless of what issues turn up.
Keep in mind, buyers will still conduct a home inspection and can still ask to negotiate the sale price based on the results of the inspection. However, in this instance, you wouldn't be on the hook to finance and manage the repairs yourself.
The home inspection is often one of the most stressful parts of a real estate transaction, and it can be somewhat unpredictable. As a seller, it's not your responsibility to fix every item, but you take care of the major issues. During the process, rely on your real estate agent to help you negotiate the terms and details.