As the biggest and oldest buyer's brokerage in our market we've always taken the buyer's side in home inspection issues.
In general we look first to the negotiation and expectations based on the seller's presentation of the home.
We expect the home to be in a certain condition if it is a foreclosure or marketed as a "fixer-upper".
We expect something else if it is marketed as a "wonderful well maintained family home".
Also, if a home has a "new kitchen" or a "new bath" we expect those items to be updated in a professional manner and we have higher expectations for their condition.
Beyond the original expectations, we look at 3 specific areas"
1. Structural issues. Like basement wall issues or mold in the attic issues or additions without proper footings. Something where the home's condition is getting worse or is likely to get worse. Roof leaks fit into this category also.
2. Health and safety issues. These mostly relate to the furnace condition but also include the fireplace. If a home has a fireplace our expectation is that it is going to be safe to use.
3. Mis-representation issues. If the home has a "new roof" and our inspector finds that only the South half of the roof is new, we have a problem. If the home has a "new electric panel" and the panel has been replaced without the proper permits and/or has been done by an amateur, we normally have a problem.
As a recent example, we helped a buyer buy a older home with a "newer" bathroom. The update was probably a little more than ten years old but the materials were nice quality. Well during the inspection we found that two of the three fixtures leaked. We could also see that leaks from one of the fixtures had damaged the ceiling below and had been repaired at some time in the past. We expected those to be fixed by the seller and that was part of our negotiation.
What do you all think?