6 inspection problems that are ruining the deal

Sometimes the notes on a home inspection report are minor (like a blown lightbulb) while others are serious (like a bad foundation or a leaky roof). But when buying or selling a home, you need to focus on the main issues as they can stem an entire home sale. Both buyers and sellers should be aware of the “big deal” issues listed below and what to do if your inspection reveals them. The good news? Buyer, you don’t have to run away screaming … or even back away slowly. Sometimes it can be okay to proceed with your purchase of this otherwise dreamy Sarasota, FL or Portland, OR home.

Read on to find out what problems with the home inspection report can prevent a home sale.

1. Asbestos

We have learned a lot about asbestos since this carcinogenic substance was used as artificial snow and breathed in by actors in films – for example, the poppy field scene of the Wizard of Oz.But in homes before 1975, asbestos could be found in roofing felt or in roof penetration seals. The tape used to seal ducts, cement board cladding (transits), and older tiles (usually in 9-by-9 tiles) may also contain asbestos.

Unless disturbed, asbestos is usually not a problem. “Asbestos in wall coverings or 9 x 9 floor tiles is not a big problem and can be remedied by covering it with other materials to protect it from damage,” says Welmoed Sisson, a home inspector in Maryland. “Crumbly asbestos insulation around pipes [crumbling] is a serious health issue and should be addressed by a qualified asbestos removal company prior to closure. “

2. Radon in the basement

Radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive, carcinogenic gas, can sometimes be found in homes, usually in basements or crawl spaces. “But in today’s cramped houses, it can penetrate the entire structure,” says Sisson. While most homes don’t have a radon problem, in your case you should fix it. “Radon levels above 4.0 picocuries per liter require the installation of an active remediation system.” This can cost between $ 1,500 and $ 2,500. If you can’t afford to fix a radon problem before selling, you can offer to lower your price so the buyer can take care of it.

3. A buried oil tank

If you are buying a home that was built between the 1930s and 1990s, the chances are that something large is buried on the property. Unfortunately, it’s not a treasure – it’s an oil tank. “The seller really has to take care of that,” says Sisson. If the tank has been properly buried or professionally decommissioned and the seller can provide you with appropriate documentation to show that it was done correctly, you can leave it there. Or you can request that it be removed. “An intact tank with no leaks can cost more than $ 5,000 to dig up,” says Sisson. But if an inspection shows the tank is leaking, correcting it can cost tens of thousands of dollars (or more if groundwater is concerned).

4. Exposed cabling

If you’re buying a home from a seller who introduced themselves as a jack of all trades (but wasn’t really good at any craft) and you find exposed cables, what should you do? “In general, that’s not a big problem,” says Sisson. However, exposed cables can pose a safety risk. A bigger problem is button and tube wiring (old style wiring that is quite common in homes built before 1930). This system rarely lasts longer than 80 years. “Outdated [or exposed] The wiring should be updated, but it is better to have your own contractor do this so you can be in control of the quality of the work and be sure that the appropriate permits have been obtained, ”says Sisson. This means it could be something the buyer should take care of – and negotiate that the work is reflected in the price of the house.

5. Black mold

If hearing black mold conjures up images of the creature from the Black Lagoon, you might freak out if an inspection report shows your potential new home is filled with it. Also, “the word ‘mold’ in an inspection report can ruin funding,” says Sisson. It’s even worse if you or someone in your family has a respiratory disease. In this case, “it may be wise to give up the house entirely.” But if you really want the house, let the seller hire a professional to get rid of the mold. And then have the space tested again before buying it.

6. Termites

If your inspection report reveals termite damage, it will be a tough sell. And repairing the damage will be expensive. “All affected elements need to be exposed, damaged parts removed and replaced, and the rest of the house treated,” says Sisson. A termite damaged home also requires a structural engineer inspection to “report the integrity of the frame and whether additional support should be added”. If you are looking to buy a termite damaged home, do so only after you have papers from the termite company (papers you would show your lender) stating that the home is now termite guaranteed.

The bottom line on home inspection reports

If you’re selling a home, major inspection report issues are likely to put buyers off. But that doesn’t mean you have to fix the problems yourself. “I always advise my salespeople not to fix anything,” says Janine Acquafredda, agent in Brooklyn, NY. Instead, you can close a deal with the buyer. “Buyers like to choose their own people to get the job done. [That way], you can control costs and quality. “

However, Mark Ferguson, real estate agent and founder of Invest Four More, a website that helps people become real estate investors, thinks the opposite: “The more willing a seller is to remedy the situation, the more confident a buyer is that he is one Product buys good home. “Ferguson advises customers to fix all known problems before listing.

And Sisson gives buyers this advice: “Do you know how much you are willing to spend on necessary repairs. [You can then] start thinking about updates and cosmetic things. “

Have you bought or sold a home with inspection report problems? Tell us what happened in the comments below!

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