Framing Buyer Expectations

Home Inspector with Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC WI 739-106



As a home inspector, I find unexpected issues, sometimes major structural concerns. If something major comes up, there is usually some back and forth, and in the end, the deal may still go through.

But, what about older homes that have lesser concerns; things that could be known prior to the home inspection? If you are working with the buyer, do you have that conversation about expectations?

I find more often that I'd like, buyers who are perplexed that a home they put an offer on needs a new boiler and the electrical upgraded along with several windows. They may be buying on the low end of the market, but their expectations are on the other end. Champagne taste on a beer budget. 

So, my question is why do they have these expectations? 

Is it reasonable for a buyer to expect to buy a home that needs no repairs or updating ; especially if it is modestly priced? How do you set expectations for your buyers? If you list a property, do you really do a comprehensive market analysis and price it fairly given a variety of factors including condition?

This particular home showed evidence of a past fire that was pretty well contained. The girder was still intact and a couple burnt floor joists had been replaced. So, I saw no real issue there other than the chimney flue. But the gas boiler was quite old, the electrical was 60 amp and improperly updated, it needed some new windows, had minor siding damage needed some sections of water line replaced ect...

The buyers were unaware of any of this going in. The question is why? And the other question is: do you help frame inspection report issues with your buyers? Do you educate them on expectations based on price, location ect. on what to expect going in? 



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Walt Fish

Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector
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