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6 Home Inspection Issues Buyers Can Use to Negotiate a Lower Price

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6 Home Inspection Issues Buyers Can Use to Negotiate a Lower Price
4 min. read

As a buyer, it’s extremely useful to have a home inspection before agreeing to purchase a home. Home inspections are there to let you know of any issues the property might have, allowing you to make an informed decision as to whether you want to buy a particular home or not. Knowing the faults also puts you in a stronger position to negotiate a better price. 

There are certain issues that a home inspection might identify that can suddenly make you question the house you’ve had your heart set on. But, there’s nothing stopping you from contacting the seller in order to negotiate a better price that takes such repairs into account. Read on to see the 6 most common issues that a buyer can use to negotiate a lower price.

Roof Issues

Among the most expensive house repairs, issues with the roof are the last thing homeowners want to tackle. As such, if your home inspection reveals problems with the roof, you have three choices; walk away and seek elsewhere, ask the seller to take care of the repairs, or ask the seller to drop the price to cover the costs of the repairs.

Roof issues don’t always require a full replacement, though it’s also worth negotiating over smaller issues, such as loose shingles and leaks, which can lead to bigger problems if not addressed. Inspectors generally look for sagging, issues with shingles, leaks, mold, and other signs of water damage.

Poor Plumbing

A good home inspector will take a thorough look at all the plumbing systems in the home, from basic pipework to sump pumps and septic tanks. Small plumbing problems can soon add up, costing you thousands of dollars in extreme cases. Major offenders are outdated and unsafe piping, leaks, shoddy DIY jobs, and faulty sump pumps.

Foundation Problems

Like replacing the roof, fixing a faulty foundation brings despair for any homeowner. Unless a seller is willing to fix or at least drop the price to cover the cost of repairs, you should walk away from any home that has major foundation problems. Major issues include a breakdown of the foundation, resulting in large cracks and broken brickwork in the basement, as well as uneven floors. Sticking doors throughout the house are another indicator. It’s worth consulting an engineer if your inspector suspects major foundation issues, and with typical repairs costing in excess of $10,000, it’ll be money well spent.

Grading issues can also have an impact on the foundations, and if erosion has changed the grading of the home you’re interested in, the basement is likely to be damp, water damaged, and susceptible to mold. Sometimes, fitting extended downspouts to ensure that water runs away from the home is enough to fix such issues, though it’s worth checking to be sure.

Outdated Wiring

Like plumbing issues, electrical issues can soon pile up and cost you a fortune. Outdated wiring and other electrical systems, such as junction boxes, will normally need to be replaced to meet current building codes. This task can be long, arduous, and expensive, though it’s essential as old wiring, such as knob-and-tube wiring, can be extremely dangerous, leading to fires and electric shocks. Replacing outdated electrical systems should be a game-changer, and if the seller is unwilling to do it or lower the sale price, it’s best to walk away, to avoid regretting your decision later.

HVAC Systems

AC and heating issues can be expensive to fix, especially if you need to replace the entire HVAC system. Inspectors will check the age of the system, plus things like leaks, pressure issues, corrosion, and sediment build-up. Sometimes, simply replacing the filters is enough to resolve issues, but if you’re looking at an old system that’s on its last legs, it’s a good idea to either negotiate the price down or the replacement of the system. Footing the cost yourself can run into thousands of dollars worth of repairs, plus the extra cost of running an inefficient system.

Dangerous Substances

Lead-based paint and asbestos were both commonplace in house construction up until the 1970s. However, these dangerous substances are now illegal to use, and it’s almost essential to remove them if discovered. Fully removing both requires specialists, and the cost can soon add up. If such dangerous substances are discovered by your home inspection, you can certainly negotiate a better deal. It’s also worth knowing that certain loans, such as FHA or veterans’ loans, can be refused due to health and safety concerns.

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