Negotiating a home inspection during a seller's market

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 08 May 2018 11:36

When it is a seller's market like it is in Metro Detroit right now every thing is tilted in the sellers favor.  After all there is more buyers than there are homes.  We are seeing multiple offers and sometimes homes going way over list price.  So what is a buyer to do.  A home buyer in Metro Detroit or any where in the country that has a seller's market must still be smart.  After all your home is one of the biggest financial investments that you make.  You do not want to buy a home and be upside down in the home for years to come.  What would happen to you if you are upside down and you have a job  transfer, death, or divorce?  You would have to short sale the home them and possibly be liable for the short fall.  So you still have to be financially smart even in a seller's market like we are experiencing in Metro Detroit in 2018.

Let's say you finally we able to score a home.  You put the bid in and then you were able to win the home.  First of all CONGRATULATIONS!!!  The next step is to get your mortgage started and at the same time set up a home inspection.  You have the home inspection and you spend three or four hours with the home inspector.  Of course the home inspector is going to find something wrong with a home.  I have never seen a home inspector not find something wrong with a home.   It doesn't matter whether it is a lake home in the Metro Detroit area or a subdivision home the same rules apply. It's their job.  Of course they are going to find at least five to ten items wrong with the house.  It is a given.  What you have to do is determine next if they are major or minor items.

leaking rod holes

Minor items are fixes like loose door knob, missing GFI plug, well needing clorination, a dripping faucet, a running toilet, a loose gutter, a shingle missing, a missing chimney cap.  Those are minor items that cost less than $250 to repair or fix.  A major item is something that costs alot to fix.  Or something that is structural, environmental, or health.  Items like mold in the attic or basement, Broken trusses in the attic, sloping floors, crumbling or bowed basement walls, bad septic field, under performing well pressure, shoddy or incorrect wiring are just some of the major issues you could find with a home.  

Mold in the basemnt

Once of the first considerations when you are in a seller's market is were you in a multiple bid situation?  In a multiple bid situation you have to realize and keep in the back of your mind that the seller can just go to the next buyer.  When you are in a seller's market it is going to be very hard for you to get the seller to agree to fix minor items unless he is a very nice person.   They can just go to the next buyer if you ask for too much.  The key is to ask for the important items.  Items that cost alot or that you don't have the time or ability to repair.  Of course you would want to ask for any of the items I listed above such as mold in the attic or basement, broken trusses in the attic, sloping floors, crumbling or bowed basement walls, bad septic field, under performing well pressure, shoddy or incorrect wiring.  They are dangerous, and a concern to the well being of the buyer.  The next buyer is most likely going to find the same problem.  Hopefully the seller will fix them.  Let's say you have many small items and then a large item such as the septic field needs to be replaced.

The septic field could cost any where from $6000 to $25,000 for an engineered field.  That's a lot of money and probably give the seller a minor heart attack.  But it needs to be fixed.  Hopefully the seller will fix it.  I have seen instances where the seller has told the buyer if you want the house buy it "as is".  We are not repairing anything.  I have seen buyer have to replace the septic field themselves.  It happens.

So even in a seller's market you should at least ask for the major item to be fixed.  Keep the list small if you are going to ask for small items.  And if you are asking for any item do not nit pick.  Pick out 3 or 4 of the most concerning items to have fixed.  I hope this helps you when you are in a sellers market.     

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