Last month, I wrote "What Is A Home Inspection?" I fully intended to write more ... but I didn't.
Then Jay Thompson in Phoenix wrote about the home inspection from the Seller's point of view. I think he wrote it better than I could.
The seller should be looking at the inspection in much the same way as the buyer is:
"A home inspection for the purposes of this Contract is RESTRICTED TO DETERMINING ONLY that the plumbing (including well, well pump and septic systems, if any), heating, air conditioning (if any), electrical systems and appliances are in safe working order, there are no structural defects, and the roof is free of leaks. The home inspection and any subsequent inspections shall be at Purchaser's expense."
In our area of Virginia, if you agree in whole or in part to the repairs requested in the home inspection Amendment, make sure there is a completely ratified (signed and initialed) Amendment. The home inspection contingency is then removed and you can move forward with the Contract. As a seller, you want to make sure there's a specific dollar amount specified for repairs (it varies on what that amount is, sometimes as little as $500, but the Contract should state very clearly what that amount is. If you can't come to an agreement with the buyer regarding which repairs will be completed, then the Contract can be terminated (again, in writing), the buyer can get their earnest money back, and your house can be put back up for sale.
I can't say that we see many deals fall through over home inspections, but sometimes negotiations just don't work out as planned and the house has to go back on the market. Remember - if one buyer didn't like that the roof was falling apart, it's probably that another buyer's not going to like that either. If you can make some of the repairs suggested in the report prior to putting the house back up for sale, it might be a good idea. Another even better idea might be to have the house inspected prior to listing it; then you can provide potential buyers a little more confidence that yours is one they need to seriously consider.
Thanks Jay, for the great write-up.