If Your Buyer Makes Home Inspection Requests, You Might Not Want to Say No Right Now

By
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Classic 314578

It’s an industry joke that some buyers request the seller to repair even the most minor issue found on a home inspection, like a leaky faucet for example. But over the past couple of years, most sellers could list their house and it would quickly sell for over asking price — and buyers would often waive the home inspection — so sellers wouldn’t have to worry about that at all. Even if the buyers did have an inspection, sellers could easily reply with a firm no, and the buyers would be fine with it.

So if you’re about to put your house on the market, even if you’ve heard that the market is shifting, you may still be holding onto the hope that things will be the same for you.

The good news is that you’re still in a great position to get a historically high price for your house. That’s despite the fact that we’re in a “housing recession” according to this CNBC article. To put it simply, since inventory is still low for the number of buyers looking for a home, prices aren’t coming down, but the number of homes actually selling have been dropping.

But what sellers should be sensitive to is that buyers are now less likely to waive their rights to a home inspection, as reported by Fortune last week. In addition to that, they followed up this week stating that 16.1% of buyers backed out of deals in July — the highest rate since April 2020. Back in 2020, buyers were canceling contracts due to financial concerns caused by the emerging pandemic. Now more buyers seem to be backing out due to home inspection issues.

Are they all due to home inspection issues? Probably not. Some of them are likely due to financing issues, or any other number of factors. But those using home inspection issues as a reason to back out could also be using it as a remedy for buyer’s remorse — a more technical term for getting cold feet —over their decision.

It doesn’t matter if the buyer is simply using home inspection issues as a handy excuse, or they’re truly concerned about issues found during the home inspection; you should be ready and willing to address their concerns and requests. A buyer can’t easily back out of their contract if you agree to address any problems they find. (And yes, this even means those nitpicky items, like a leaky faucet, that you may feel is being a bit greedy on their part.)

If you do, and have to put your house back on the market, you could find that your house doesn’t sell readily, or for as much as you initially accepted. Plus, your next buyer might throw the same (and possibly more) inspection issues at you.

The Takeaway:

It’s just not worth the risk of losing a buyer in this market. Things are shifting, and the market is already drastically changed from how it was just a few months ago. Yet you’re still in a solid position as a seller to get a historically high price for your house. So, if you find yourself being asked to take care of home inspection issues, truly analyze whether it’s worth being stubborn. Will buyers get even more picky and demanding in the near future? What if there’s more inventory / competition? Will you be able to get as high of a sales price?

While it may seem like you’re caving in and taking a financial hit other sellers didn’t have to take recently, consider how much your home was worth in 2020 (the last time buyers were backing out at this rate). The equity you’ve likely gained just by owning during this period probably far outweighs whatever the cost of whatever your buyer is asking for. Don’t let pride or principles get in the way of moving on and getting as much as you can for your house right now.

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Comments (6)

Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

No buyer should ever pass on a home inspection even if they set it up as informational purposes only. If a major flaw is uncovered, it could be a surprise to the sellers as well.

Aug 25, 2022 10:01 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

 

Hi,

 

Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as a friend. I would love the follow back. Thanks Bill

 

Aug 25, 2022 02:27 PM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Hi Tom Gilliam- RE/MAX Classic - this is a really good explanation of part of the sales process, and how it has changed over time.     I agree, sometimes it's just plain smart for the seller to cooperate with their current buyer if their requests are reasonable.

Aug 26, 2022 09:40 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This post is spot on!  The market has shifted and now buyers are doing inspections as the bidding wars aren't as common.  I still think buyers need to be reasonable with their "repair"  requests--and often in my market. it's best for all if seller gives a credit rather than messes with ten fix it items

Aug 26, 2022 12:59 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great, timely post.  This is exactly why buyers and sellers should work with experienced agents who stay on top of trends and still IN the market to experience the shift! GREAT information - good luck!

Aug 27, 2022 03:38 PM
Fred Sweezer Sr. CMI, LLC.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
HUD 203k Consultant

Very, accurate post of selling market thanks for your post!

Sep 02, 2022 11:59 AM