Real Estate Services

How to Sell Your House AFTER Receiving a Bad Home Inspection Report

A negative house inspection can be a death knell to a home sale. A bad report from a house inspector is the last thing anyone wants to face after all the stress in getting so close to the finish line. If you are one of the lucky few, your home inspection came before you hit the market to sell your house. However, the majority of home inspections do not come until well into the selling process. It is understandable. If you have the home inspected prior to listing, you bear the cost. A potential buyer will likely get their own inspection before closing, and you will not recoup the cost of the early inspection.

Once you do receive a bad report, all hope is not lost. You are not the first seller to have this problem, and you will not be the last. It is more common than one might expect. Many factors can result in a negative inspection. It could be a problem you hoped to avoid that finally caught up to you. It may be a mistake on behalf of the inspector. It could be a miscommunication. It is possible that an unlikely problem has arisen. There is even a chance that the inspector was just in a bad mood. Now is the time to put together a plan of action to get your sell back on track.

FIRST: Be honest. You may be able to salvage the sale to your prospective buyer. We all make mistakes. It is how we handle them that matters. This does not mean that you did anything wrong. The mistake is assuming the home would pass the inspection. Let the buyer know everything you can about the issue. If it was a problem that completely blind-sided you, let them know you are as surprised as they are. Bring them in on the solution. Open your home for them to see the what is wrong first hand. Find out what it will take to correct the issue and save the sale.

SECOND: Get professionals involved. If you or the buyer are using a realtor, you must contact them immediately. These realtors have seen this before. They can guide you through how to triage the injury and get back on the market. No matter the problem, it is best to have a professional correct it, with documentation. You may have to answer for the bad house inspection, and it easier to show the problem and the solution from a professional repair than to explain how you and your uncle "patched it up." Another benefit is knowing the likely cost of the repair and potential loss in sale value.

THIRD: Adjust the sale. If you already have a contract, that means it is time to renegotiate. The buyer may be willing to go forward with the purchase and correct the issues themselves, with the proper concessions, of course. You will have to accept less money than was originally agreed upon, but you will keep the sale. The buyer may want you to pay for the repairs yourself and maintain the agreement. This also eats into your portion of the sale. Either way, you will have to correct the problem at your own cost.

FOURTH: Re-list the property. Some buyers will never be happy with a property they have decided is flawed. This is not the end of the world. Home sales fail to close every day. You will survive losing the sale, and you will find another buyer. It is frustrating to start from the beginning, but now you know the home will pass inspection. If it does not, and you used professionals, you have them on which to fall back.

FINALLY, if all the stress and aggravation of failing a home inspection is too much to bear, call a home buyer. Home buyers have experience in all sorts of houses, including ones that have failed inspection. This can get your sale back on track in a very short time, without the hassle, stress and aggravation of having to correct the problems or renegotiate contracts. 

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