Before buying the house of your dreams, there are several inspections that you should request and repairs that, if needed, you should negotiate with the seller. The mandatory inspection does not catch everything, but most people think it does, so knowing the possibilities ahead of time can save a tremendous amount of heartache and money down the road. Any repair that would need to be incurred regardless of whether the house sells or not is a cost that typically falls to the seller. More superficial changes will be the buyer’s responsibility if they wish to change something like tile they do not like.
- Request a sewer inspection. Even if the home inspection comes back in great shape, that does not at all cover the sewer and there are a lot of things that could go wrong in that area, so knowing what you are getting into ahead of time can help. If it comes back in poor condition or likely to cause a problem, it is largely the seller’s responsibility to cover the costs of any repair or preventive expenses. Preventive measures are particularly important in the case of a sewer because the damages done by a damaged sewer are far more expensive and costly down the road than the preventive measures taken.
- Make sure the HVAC system has been regularly serviced. If not or the home owner cannot provide proof of regular maintenance, make sure you request that it be inspected for any heating repair needs. Depending on the season, it might be impossible to tell upon entering the house whether something is broken or not. But if the air conditioning is in need of repair and you walk in as a buyer during the summer, it should be clear as day that there is something wrong with it and you can make a reasonable request at that point. Air conditioning repair costs can easily be negotiated into the contract with the seller, who should take full responsibility for those expenses.
- Request an additional roofing inspection. This is another area, much like the sewer inspection, where you want to have no doubts in your mind about the condition of the home when you move into it. There might be paint peeling on the outside or you might hate the carpet, but if the roof is leaking or otherwise on the verge of collapse, you will want to know that before signing any contract. Getting those expenses covered by the seller is a typical part of a contract negotiation process between any buyer and seller and should not come as a surprise to any of the parties involved. If a seller has any indication that something is wrong, they have likely already done an inspection themselves or have recently made repairs. Providing you with proof of recent repairs can be an easy way to help smooth over the negotiations.
Purchasing a home is a big endeavor, but these are just a few of the repairs and problems to look out for before signing your name on the dotted line and taking ownership of the problems yourself.