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One Big Misconception about Home Inspection

July 20th, 2009

One of the most common misconceptions in home inspection and home buying is the use of the home inspection report to oblige the seller to remedy the defects identified during the inspection or to make the needed repairs described in the report.

The truth is that the obligation of the seller to make repairs depends on the residential purchase contract signed by both seller and buyer. It also depends on the state where the purchase contract is signed as states vary in some of the provisions of the purchase contract.

Some states have stronger protections for the home buyer than for the seller while other states have balanced protections for the seller and buyer.

In some cases, the repair of defects described by the home inspector depends entirely on the seller. Some sellers repair defects even if they are not obliged based on the purchase contract because they believe it is the right thing to do.

Other sellers would insist on their right not to repair as spelled out in the purchase contract because of economic reasons.
There are also other sellers who are dismayed by requests for repairs or discounts after the home inspection, especially in cases where the house is already being obviously sold at a big loss to the seller.

In some states, a buyer has the right to perform all kinds of home inspection on the house they are buying during the default period of ten days after the signing of the residential purchase contract. The default period of ten days can be extended if both the seller and the buyer agree.

After the end of the ten-day period, sometimes called discovery period in some states, the buyer decides on whether to complete the purchase or to refund the earnest money.

In some states, lawmakers have provided a paragraph called option period in the residential purchase contract to balance the interests of both buyer and seller. Basically, the seller and the buyer check options in the purchase contract with regards to repairs after the home inspection.

In some purchase contracts, the as-is condition of the property is one of the major provisions. Under this purchase condition, the buyer accepts, acquires and pays the property in its current condition. If the home buyer signs this condition in the purchase contract, the seller is not obliged to make any kind of repair described in the home inspection report.

Home Inspection

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