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Home Inspection Repair Request Dos & Don'ts

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Dos and Don'ts When Responding to Home Inspection Repair Request


Home Inspection Responses have been nothing but a thorn in my side for my listings and with my agents this summer!

To me – home inspection responses are nothing but re-negotiation of the original contract.  The “cleaner” the response is, the easier your negotiations will be.  We are even blessed in our Buyers Response to Home Inspection and Request for Repairsmarket to have a formal form for the buyer’s response called “Buyer’s Response to Home Inspection and Request for Repairs.”  Unfortunately with 7 years existence of this particular form:   SOME AGENTS STILL DO NOT KNOW THIS EXISTS!!!!!

Here is my “DO & DON’T List” for home buyers & home sellers when reacting to a home inspection:

DON’T – yell, scream, negotiate verbally or put repair requests on a “generic addendum.”

DO – Put repair requests on the formal addendum specifically designed for home inspections.  Oh, and be nice.  You catch more flies with honey than you do with sh*t.

DON’T – exceed your repair allowance limit added to the original purchase agreement, unless there was some serious findings that inhibit habitability or financing of the property.

DO – show good faith to the sellers that you wish to adhere to the contract.  If you need a COE extension or additional items down the road from the sellers after you negotiate repairs, they may not grant you the additional terms you need if you go overboard now.

DON’T – say “all items in inspection” as your response – this is NOT NEW CONSTRUCTION.

DO – pick and choose your battles and carefully choose the items within or as close to your original agreed upon repair allowance.

DON’T – request for the home to be professionally cleaned in the home inspection response.

DO – remember that the formal response is only for material defects and that aesthetic issues should be taken care of in the original purchase agreement.

DON’T – withhold the entire home inspection report from the seller.  It looks shady and I have had two people try to pull that one over me this summer and then ask for repairs at walk through and hold the close hostage after other repairs were completed.

DO – deliver the entire home inspection report to the seller.  Sometimes sellers may surprise you and fix more than you have requested.  Sometimes.

DON’T – ask for a credit that is beyond your original agreed upon repair allowance.  This seems to be a new “negotiating” tactic in our market to get additional closing costs or more off the price of the home.

DO – deliver contractor proposals when you request the credit to prove your case.

DON’T – form your own interpretation to the home inspector’s findings.  (IE a buyer may interpret that a light fixture needs replacement when it just needs a new light bulb.)

DO – point out and copy verbatim inspector’s findings and allow listing agent or sellers to get clarification from home inspector, contractor or handyman if needed.

DON’T – reinspect the house yourself after repair completion.

DO – ask for an invoice & have your inspector go back to reinspect.  We just had an instance where the listing agent owned the handyman company and they did a BAD job at repairs and knocked the water heater out of the venting while installing earthquake straps.  This was leaking carbon monoxide into the garage.  It probably would not have been noticed by an untrained eye.

DO- LEAVE YOUR EMOTIONS OUT OF NEGOTIATIONS!  Logic and common sense with proper expectations with the home inspection repair request will lead everyone to less headaches & a smoother close in the long run.

Posted by

Thanks,  Renée Burrows 702-580-1783 Broker/Owner, REALTOR®


copyright 2006-2013 Renee Burrows, REALTOR®, Savvy Home Realty Solutions  702-966-2494

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Comments (7)

Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Renee - We too have a form here in Arizona. Most agents are well aware of this, and do use it properly. However, some of the things the buyer asks for based on the inspection seem a little ridiculous.

Sep 17, 2015 04:39 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Interesting list of dos and don'ts.  

We don't have an inspection repair form here, nor do we have an agreed upon repair allowance limit.  Inspection follow-ups can be problematic, but I've found if the buyers focus on safety/structural issues, everything usually turns out well.


Sep 17, 2015 09:07 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Renee...have not seen your wonderful posts in some time. Thanks for a great one on inspections!

Sep 19, 2015 01:33 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Renee, this is an excellent list of things to do (and don't do) regarding home inspections. Thanks for writing it.

Nov 08, 2015 09:06 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

OK - it's been 3 months since this post - where are you!!?? 

Dec 16, 2015 11:37 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Make sure to know what systems are EXCLUDED from the inspector's scope of work. If the home inspector notes in the small print that he/she doesn't inspect pools, then we may erroneously think that since no pool problems were noted there is no need to ask for repair. Not a good day if after closing the buyers find a major problem with the pool.

Jun 19, 2017 12:50 PM
nobody - Alamance, NT

Breathe, home inspection are just a tool to tell the buyer the details of the home they're going to be buying, even a new home isn't perfect.

Jan 16, 2018 06:42 PM