One of the more treacherous parts of an escrow is the home inspection and request for repairs. Often times the buyer thinks that the home inspection is a “checklist” of what needs to be fixed while the seller either thinks their home is perfect or “it was just fine for us so why does the buyer need things that work fine upgraded or repaired”. Finding middle ground isn’t always easy but a good realtor can help address some of the challenges before they even come up and help manage expectations as how to get through a very challenging situation.
As the chart below shows, 80% of home inspection reports show at least something needing to be fixed. In our opinion that’s even on the low side….in our experience there are always issues. We always recommend to both our buyers and sellers to be reasonable. On the buyer side stick to actual problems or repairs. If it’s an issue that the buyer will have to immediately pay for to have repaired…it’s a reasonable request. The biggest challenge items are either those called out as not up to “current “code, or items towards the end of their service life. Buyers need to understand that the statement “not up to current building code” does not mean it’s necessarily problematic. Codes change all of the time and unless it’s a clear safety issue, it’s usually best to stick with actual repairs. Items at the end of their service life really depend on the item, the cost and how extensive the rest of the repair list. We’ve found that asking for everything usually ends with the seller dismissing any repairs….even the reasonable ones.
Keith Kyle is a top producing realtor and Torrance real estate specialist with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in the South Bay. Contact Keith for more information on how the home inspection and escrow process works in Torrance real estate.