Should I Accept a
Home Inspection
Condition?


I've never met a seller who liked the idea of accepting an offer with a home inspection condition, or for that matter, any type of condition. But since buyers are naturally cautious about parting with their hard-earned money, that's just the way of the world. Thus sellers, like it or not, may as well get used to the idea of a home inspection happening.

Some real estate conditions have become fairly standard, such as satisfactory financing and house inspection. Condo offers usually include a condition on the buyer receiving a satisfactory Status Certificate, or the equivalent in your neck of the woods. And rural offers almost always have a condition pertaining to a potable well water supply, amongst several other special conditions. Buyers who already own a home usually want a condition allowing them to sell their own property. However, in a hot market, they're not always granted that privilege, especially in a multiple bid competition.

There are numerous situations in which conditions will be included in Agreements of Purchase and Sale, but these are the most common.

Before committing to a firm purchase, a buyer will wisely demand the right to have an inspection performed by a qualified inspector, particularly with older and/or questionable construction.

After the inspector has completed an exhaustive physical inspection of the structure, grounds and any major outbuildings, usually consuming at least 2 to 3 hours, more for larger and more complex buildings, the buyer will receive a detailed report, either in binder or digital format, that provides the buyer with detailed information about the physical condition of the property and building(s).

Click here to learn more about the home inspection report. It's presented from a buyer's perspective, but a seller should understand such a common condition from the other side's point of view too. Plus sellers usually become buyers.

Real estate inspections are now the norm in most markets. Thus, as a seller, you may as well accept the inevitability of such a condition being included in an offer on your property.

If you refuse to accept a house inspection condition, such a refusal could easily be construed by the buyer as a 'red flag'. They may wonder if you're hiding - innocently or deceptively - a serious mechanical, electrical or structural defect, and walk away from negotiations. You lose.

Should you accept a home inspection condition?

Absolutely. By refusing, you'll probably lose the offer and a possible sale. And if you accept, you may still lose the sale because the buyer failed to notice major defects during the viewing that their inspector discovered. However, you just might win. Thus, you have nothing to lose.


Whether you're working with a realty agent or going it alone with a private sale (or purchase) attempt, check out my book The Happy Agent. It's chock full of marketing tips, techniques and advice, including sections on selling privately, how to prepare your property for market to maximize a sale price, how to hold successful open houses, effectively advertise, negotiate and more that could make the difference between attempting to sell and actually creating a successful sale.

A small investment of your time and a pittance of your money could conceivably gain you thousands of dollars and save a ton of heartache. Remember - knowledge is power. Make informed decisions.

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