My Pre-Purchase Inspection Went Badly — What Now?

Pre-Purchase Inspection Went Badly

If you haven’t been there yourself, you have probably heard the horror stories. Property inspection — a critical part of any home purchase — can be fraught with surprise and disappointment. Buyers may enter a contract on a house, and let other houses go off the market, only to learn from the inspection that their dream home is in fact a money pit. Maybe there is a radon gas issue, the heating system is on its last legs or the roof needs replacement.

When you’re hit with such bad news, what do you do next? The answer is to start negotiating.

In any contract for sale of a home, there is a requirement that both parties negotiate in good faith. The buyer’s deposit upon signing the contract serves to protect the seller from any bad faith negotiating by the buyer, such as demanding a repaint of the entire house or attempting to get the purchase price substantially reduced at the 11th hour. It also protects the seller in case the buyer simply can’t complete the transaction — whether due to failed financing or other personal issues.

What about when the shoe is on the other foot? Let’s say the inspection has turned up structural problems, requiring tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, that were either not disclosed or not known when the contract was drafted. Typically, the parties begin to negotiate and incorporate the cost of repairs into the final selling price of the home. However, what’s to stop a seller from refusing to budge on the purchase price — knowing that there are other buyers out there?

The law does not require the seller to cover every conceivable repair on the house, nor does it require the buyer to take the house as it is, when those unforeseen hidden defects pop up during the inspection. Instead, the law requires the parties to try to strike a reasonable deal under the circumstances based on good faith.

If you need an experienced hand to push your deal across the finish line, or to get you out of the deal should the inspection report reveal too many problems, the real estate attorneys at Salas Law Firm are ready to serve. Our office helps guide homebuyers through every step of the process, from the routine to the extraordinary. Contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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John Salas