There Are Defects In Every Home

We'd all like to buy theperfect home. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist. Even new homes have defects.That's why it's important to have any home you buy inspected by qualifiedprofessionals-even if it's brand new. You'll undoubtedly discover defectsduring your inspections. In fact, you should hope that any significant defectsare uncovered before you remove your inspection contingency from the purchasecontract. It's far worse to be surprised after closing by unanticipated repairexpenses. 

Armed with a completeassessment of the current condition of the property, you can make an informeddecision about whether to purchase the property in its present condition. Or,you may want to renegotiate the terms of your contract with the seller. Ifdefects are incurable, you may want to withdraw from the contract altogether.Your purchase contract should set guidelines for how inspection defects are tobe handled. For example, the seller may have had a "termite"inspection completed before marketing the property. If so, the contract mightspecify which party-buyer or seller-will pay for the required corrective work.Not all inspection contingencies are the same. Some specify that the buyershave the unilateral right to approve or disapprove inspections. In this case,if the buyers disapprove the inspections, the contract may be cancelable at thebuyer's option. 

HouseHunting Tip: Even if your contract allows you to withdraw due to inspections,carefully consider before electing this option. You will already have spentconsiderable time, effort and money finding and inspecting the property. If thedefects are correctable, it's usually worthwhile to try negotiating anagreement with the sellers rather than starting the process over again. Someinspection contingencies provide for buyers to give the sellers the opportunityto correct defects, rather than just walk away from the deal. In this case, theterms of the contract often become subject to further negotiation. Beforeasking a seller for inspection-related concessions, make a list of thesignificant defects that you discovered during your inspections. Then find outhow much it will cost to repair these defects. When you make your request, putit in writing and include a copy of your cost accounting list along with thereports and estimates on which you're basing your request. 

Youmay find that the seller is not willing to negotiating over items that weredisclosed to you before you made an offer to purchase the property. It stillmay be worthwhile to point out that the cost of the previously disclosed itemsin addition to the newly discovered defects alter the amount you can reasonablypay for the property. Sellers are wise to consider any reasonable proposal froma well-qualified buyer. If the inspection- related defects are significant,they are likely to be a concern to other buyers. Depending on the law in yourstate regarding seller disclosures, you may have to provide copies of thebuyer's reports to future buyers who are interested in the property. There areseveral ways in which sellers can participate in buyers' repair requests. Theycan have the work done by closing, if time permits. Often contractors willaccept payment at closing. Or they can credit money to buyers as long as thecredit is called a credit for buyers' nonrecurring closing costs. Lendersusually limit the amount of such a credit to 3 percent of the purchase price orequal to the actual amount of the nonrecurring closing costs, whichever isless. 

I pull out all the stops to sell your home.
Lonnie Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Southeast Sound
Phone: 206-406-2710

Lonnie Snyder is a full time real estateagent and REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty specializing in Residential RealEstate for buyers and sellers in Washington's Kent, Renton, Newcastle and SouthBellevue.

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