Full Disclosure

So, what's the deal with home inspections?

Madeline Romanello Compass

Home inspections take the front seat in negotiations over price during closing. Getting a home inspected means bringing in a professional who will identify any defects in the property, and occurs after a buyer has put a contract on a home.

Inspections affect sellers depending on what kind of contract has been signed on the property. The most popular, an “as-is” contract, means the buyer understands they’re buying the home as it is right now, and they’ll be responsible for fixing any issues the home has. Simply going under contract doesn’t mean the deal is done. A buyer will want to know if the property has any flaws before they close.

Buyers take care of the inspection, typically bearing the cost of the inspection itself; they can offer shorter inspection periods to sweeten a deal and ensure a quick closing time. But when it comes to inspections, it’s always the buyer’s choice. On the flip side, if the inspection turns up major issues with the property, it puts the buyer in a much stronger negotiating position.

If something is wrong with the house that wasn’t already disclosed, buyers can come back to the table with a lower price. A bad roof, shoddy electrical work, or plumbing issues could mean tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. If the seller doesn’t agree to cover those costs, buyers are free to walk away if they think the deal has gone south. A seller must be aware of the type of contract they’re under and be prepared for any situation.