Good Luck With That Inspection

The buyer found the right home, in the right location. The seller even agreed to the terms and price, but there’s still a good chance this deal will never make it to closing. Why? Because more real estate deals than ever before are falling apart at the inspection. Buyers maximize their leverage in this market to beat up on sellers, and frankly it’s getting a little out of hand. Of course, if you’re the buyer it may sound great, but life experience tells me when the pendulum swings too far in one direction it’s not a good thing.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say a buyer conducts an inspection on a resale home and then submits an inspection notice to the seller that reads like a honey-do list a wife gives her husband on a Saturday afternoon. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe a buyer should inherit other people’s major problems. But when buyers want sellers to install “matching sink stoppers” in master bath sinks, we’ve got a problem. Or when listed on the inspection notice is a request to install an outlet plate cover in the garage, clearly the buyers are taking a few too many liberties.

Why this pendulum swing? Because it’s a buyer’s market. You see, there are so many properties on the market now that buyers can say, “Fine. If you don’t want to fix everything, and we mean everything, we’ll just find another house.” Buyers have the upper hand, and some sellers really have no choice but to fix everything or lose the deal.

This may be your time in the sun, but buyers I’d like to caution you on a couple of things.
1) Be realistic. Inspectors can find something wrong on any home, particularly a resale.
2) Be reasonable. Only ask the seller to fix big things, like plumbing, heating, roofing, the foundation, etc. No home is perfect. If you have to install a switch plate cover after you move in, that’s OK.

After all, you might end up being the seller one day, and what goes around comes around.

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