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Home Inspections - What's Negotiable and What's Not

Posted by Dan Boyle on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 12:08pm.

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Ahh, inspection items...  When purchasing a home on Marco Island, it is typical to have it inspected by a professional inspector between contract signing and closing.  The home inspector will typically crawl through all the nooks and crannies that he can reasonably access in about three or four hours and give you a report of his findings.  This is where problems can develop. First, there is no standard for home inspections and every inspector operates differently.  Second, some reports are unnecessarily inflametory.  Thirdly, there are inspectors that are not either experienced or competent to do their jobs.  I've seen an inspector call attention to a nail hole in a garage door while missing the fact that all of the window sills on the rear of the home were rotten.  Of course, he marketed himself as the "thorough" home inspector.

As if the inspections weren't unpredictable enough, then we have to arrange some kind of resolution to the findings. The contract is about as detailed as it can be when it comes to inspections and the remedies for common findings.  Read these clauses and understand them.  Many people are mistaken when they assume how various items should be handled.  Most importantly, inspections are to insure that the "systems and equipment" are functioning properly. This includes the appliances, heating and colling, plumbing, electrical,structural walls, foundations, pools, etc. 

Some buyers are often surprised to learn that many items are not required to be repaired at all.  Specifically not requiring remediation are cosmetic items described as "an aesthetic imperfection which does not affect the Working Condition of an item."  Also, often misunderstood is the extent of repair required.  "No cost to repair or replace any Systems and Equipment item shall exceed the fair market value of that item if it were in working condition."  This means that the seller can't be expected to credit the buyer the cost of a new roof because the 20 year old roof has reached the end of it's life.

For more information on home inspections and how to handle them as a buyer or seller, don't hesitate to contact us.

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