Playing The Inspection Game.


A written inspection report provides a detailed list, and photos, of items in the new home that need attention. Some of these items can be useful for you during the purchase price negotiation. Read on to learn more.

If you are looking at a house, condo, or
townhome to buy and are planning on making an offer it is extremely important that you arrange to have a professional house inspector do an assessment of the structure and infrastructure before the contract is finalized. Just as important, you should be sure that your contract includes a house inspection clause with a specified time frame to have the inspection done and a time frame for you, the buyer, and the seller to respond and negotiate any items flagged during the inspection

In many cases, professional house inspectors use software programs designed to rapidly produce a house inspection report, often during the same day the inspection was done. This house inspection will likely cost a couple of hundred dollars but it can be a useful leveraging tool to increase the likelihood of maximizing the return on the dollars you spend to purchase the house.

To maximize the value of this inspection report you should read through it carefully; several times. On the second and subsequent readings start making notations on the report using a green and red marker (or whatever colors you select). The red marker will be used to highlight items that you expect to use as negotiation points in requesting they be repaired or replaced before closing. The green marker will be used to denote items that you will accept as is and don't feel strongly about.

As you formulate your strategy, continue to mark up the inspection report with your thoughts. The process of writing them down may bring to mind other areas you may wish to comment on. Write everything down even if you are not sure you will use it later so you won't forget. This will help the seller and listing agent if you follow the same sequence as the inspection report. Many reports are written in outline form and in those cases you should use the same numbering system for your responses.

As you refine your comments you should be able to balance many of your requests with accepting other items 'as is'. For example your report might show:

12.1 Master Bath vanity bowl aged/cracked-Buyer accepts as is.
If this is of minimal importance to you, in general or in comparison to other issues, mark this statement in green.

In contrast, another item where you are requesting repairs would be in red:
11.5 Three windows have faulty thermopane seals-Seller to have qualified contractor replace these or repair (with appropriate warranty) and have them inspect all other windows/doors and replace/repair similar problems.

By using colors on the house inspection report reply the seller will see that in some areas you are willing to accept items that were flagged in the house inspection and thus are being reasonable in not wanting everything fixed.

Having your reply in a logical form that follows the original house inspection report will help negotiations, if required, to move along rapidly. Using this and a color coded reply will allow the seller to graphically see you are taking a balanced approach in your requirements and it is likely they will respond in kind when it comes to their concessions. Be sure that your reply is well within the response period specified in your purchase contract.


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