Home Inspection Material Defects Found: What are My Options?

Home inspection material defects can mean the difference between a property purchase moving forward and it being thwarted. In some instances, small issues or potential problems are revealed, which doesn’t usually derail the deal. However, there are times when materials defects outright kill the process and even cause buyers to walk away. That shouldn’t be a disappointment; after all the entire reason for conducting a home inspection is to avoid big time buyer’s remorse.

Buyer Options when Home Inspection Material Defects are Found

The fact of the matter is, some sellers try to hide things from buyers. The reasons for their ruses differ but are due to a number of reasons. Buyers want to ensure the property they are purchasing is in good, livable condition, free of material defects. So, just what are material defects? Well, in short, these are issues and problems which devalue the house and/or pose a safety and/or health hazard.

Buying a home is a long and complicated process. Most used homes have at least a few items that need to be replaced or upgraded, such as outdated wiring or rusted pipes. It’s also helpful to know the age of certain features, including the roof and septic tank (if applicable), since they eventually will need to be replaced. Generally, though, the seller is responsible for disclosing any significant defects in the home. —Find Law.com

For instance, a bad roof devalues a property, but it isn’t necessarily a health or safety issue. But, a home with an outdated electrical system not only devalues the property, it also poses a safety hazard. Minor problems typically don’t cause much of an issue with the sale going through. However, there are material defects which range from moderate to severe, causing long delays and even sinking the sale. Here are some helpful suggestions about buyer’s options when home inspection material defects are found:

  • Request the seller make repairs. One of the most common scenarios when issues are discovered is the buyer requests the seller to make repairs. This request might or might not be accepted, depending on the particular situation. For example, if a home is being sold “as-is” it isn’t likely the seller will accept the request to make repairs.
  • Negotiate the sale price down. Another common scenario is for the buyer to leverage the problem to negotiate a lower purchase price. It could be an issue the buyer doesn’t mind taking care of and is willing to do on their own. Before you use this tactic, be sure to know precisely what you’re dealing with.
  • Ask for other seller concessions. Some buyers will ask for other seller concessions to offset the cost or to speed up the transaction. Yet another strategy is to incorporate all known issues and then ask for different seller concessions. These could be anything within reason.
  • Meet the seller halfway. Sometimes, it’s necessary to meet the seller halfway to an equitable solution. For instance, the seller could lower the price enough to cover half the cost of the needed repairs and the buyers make up the difference.
  • Exercise your contractual right. If the material defect is substantial, the purchase contract gives the buyer the right to back out of the deal and keep their earnest money deposit. While this might not be what you want, you do have a legal right to walk away.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Orlando, contact us for the latest market information. We’ll also provide you with the right advice about the local real estate market so you make the best decisions.