Diane Belcuore



In past articles, I have written about what features buyers consider important when looking to buy a home. I have written about the ways that sellers can prepare their homes for sale.

What happens when you accept a purchase contract? The buyers have 10-14 days in which to conduct at home inspection.

When looking at your home, the buyers requested and received a Seller Disclosure document from you. This multipage document is a description of the material facts about your property. For example:

  • Age of home
  • Age of roof
  • Age of appliances, HVAC systems
  • List of improvements made to the home

The Seller Disclosure document informs prospective buyers of the material facts about the home so buyers are informed consumers.

The purpose of the home inspection is to verify that plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, and appliances are in working order. Also, it is supposed to identify possible hidden defects, such as radon gas, termite infestation, or structural problems. While the Seller Disclosure acts as a guide, the home inspection is the objective assessment of the property.

When buyers select the home inspector, they are advised to choose an inspector who is licensed by the State of New Jersey. This is expressed to the buyers in the New Jersey Association of Realtors Real Estate Purchase Contract. * By selecting a qualified, experienced home inspector, this helps to make sure the inspection is accurate and thorough, which protects the buyers. This helps the seller because the home inspection report is the basis for repair requests made by the buyer to the seller.

So what is this ‘new normal’? As prices of homes have increased, buyers’ expectations for repairs have increased. In fact, the home inspection process has become a separate negotiation. It has become common for buyers to request to replace roofing or HVAC systems based on their age, even if they are in working order. Such requests are expensive and could determine whether the sale proceeds to closing.

What are strategies to prepare for this negotiation? First, be as accurate as possible when completing the Seller Disclosure document so that buyers make an informed decision to purchase your property. Second, if your appliances and HVAC systems are in working order but nearing the end of their ‘useful life’, consider purchasing a home warranty that is transferable to the buyers upon closing. A warranty covers replacement costs if the appliances or systems cannot be repaired.

Most importantly, when you hire a REALTOR® and retain a real estate attorney, make sure they are strong negotiators who will work on your behalf. During the home inspection negotiations, you, your realtor, and your attorney work as a team to ensure a successful outcome. You should expect to receive guidance from your team as to:

  • What repair requests are reasonable and customary
  • Obtaining fair estimates and repairs from qualified contractors
  • Current housing market conditions as you enter into these negotiations

All negotiations should reach a ‘win-win’ for buyers and sellers, but its not always easy to achieve. These strategies will help you get to closing!

© 2019 Diane Belcuore

Posted on January 31, 2019 at 10:25 am by Diane Belcuore

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