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Selling a House

What Fixes are Mandatory After a Home Inspection?

Technically no home repairs are required by law before you can sell your home, but that doesn't mean some repairs aren't necessary.

If you are selling your home you know that sooner or later you will need to get a home inspection done. Many buyers won’t even consider a home that has not had a thorough and professional home inspection done on it. Therefore, essentially making getting a home inspection a requirement for being able to sell. So you got a home inspection done, and the inspector came back and told you numerous repairs that could be made. Your next question is probably “what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?”

It is important to understand you are not required to fix everything the inspector believes could be improved upon. The repairs the inspector gives you can basically be broken down into three categories: repairs that are pretty much mandatory, repairs that are not mandatory, and repairs that are negotiable. As long as the repair isn’t stated in your inspection contract with the buyer, you are not obligated to fix it. 

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Be cautious when signing an inspection contract. An inspection contract requires you to make the repairs that are outlined in the inspection contract. This can easily become very expensive, and cut into your profits. As well as force you to make repairs you did not want to make. Therefore, before you sign an inspection contract be sure to review it with your real estate agent very carefully. You want to completely understand the repair obligations you are making before you sign your name to any legal document. An experienced real estate agent will always have your best interests at heart though. So you can be confident that you won’t enter a contract where you have make repairs that aren’t necessary. 

Repairs that are Mandatory 

Technically no home repairs are required by law for sellers to make before they are able to sell their homes. Just think about the companies like WeBuyUglyHouses. They capitalize on the fact that they will buy your home completely as is, with no repairs at all. If you are using the traditional route to sell your home though, there are a few repairs that will need to be made. This is because there are some fixes required by lenders before they will release funds to a buyer.

These fixes address structural problems, building code violations, or safety issues. Sometimes fixes in the attic, basement, crawl spaces, or chimney and furnace related fixes can be required as well. Your inspector will check your septic tank, and heater to make sure they are in good condition. As well as check for possible radon leaks. Your roof, electrical system, plumbing system, and HVAC system will also be checked, to ensure they are in good and operating condition. 

If there are any major issues with any of these specific inspections, chances are you will be required to fix them. These fixes concern the safety of the home, and the overall ability to live in it. Therefore, many lenders will not finance a buyer without these fixes complete. If it is determined you need to make some of these fixes, you have options. You can oversee the work yourself. Or you have the ability to offer the buyer a credit so they can pay for and oversee the fixes themselves. 

Repairs that are Not Mandatory 

Now that we have determined what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection, it’s time to clear up what repairs aren’t mandatory after a home inspection. Any repair that is cosmetic, or the result of normal wear and tear on the house are not required to be fixed. These repairs would include things like carpet stains, or scratches on the walls. As well as handles missing from kitchen counters, or even an ugly paint color in the bathroom. Some inspection contracts even explicitly state that the buyer can not request cosmetic fixes to be made at all. If a person can live with it, but just doesn’t want to, it is not your responsibility to fix it. Therefore, you are not required to make any cosmetic fixes, but you may want to anyway. 

These fixes may seem insignificant but they can heavily affect how long your home is on the market. As well as how much a buyer is willing to pay for it. You want buyers to fall in love with your home so they will be willing to pay a high price for it. If multiple buyers feel this way, your home will be scooped off the market quickly. But, if you have outdated carpet with stains on it in the living room, and your bathroom is painted a bright pink color, chances are that won’t be happening. You can certainly sell your home without making any cosmetic repairs though. You must evaluate if the costs to make those repairs is worth a drawn selling process. One in which at the end of you may not even get your asking price on the home.

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Repairs that are Negotiable 

Truly any repair is negotiable depending on your situation. For instance, say you find a buyer who is willing to buy your home as-is, or with an information only inspection. Those terms do not require you to make any repairs at all, even ones considered mandatory. While this drastic scenario is unlikely, it is possible and does happen in the real estate industry. 

In a normal situation though, your best bet when it comes to repairs is to work closely with your real estate agent. Together you both can determine what items you should inspect. Then based on the inspection determine what repairs to make, and which ones you want to push back on. Remember to be reasonable when it comes to repairs though. If a buyer is demanding a repair be made, chances are that demand is not going away. Even if the buyer decides to walk. Once you have an inspection done, you are required to share the information from it with all potential buyers. So if one buyer had a big problem with a repair needing to be done, it is likely that another one will have the same problem.

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