It’s not out of the ordinary for homebuyers to be a bit (or a lot) overwhelmed after the home inspection stage. Sometimes there’s a temptation to either flat-out walk away or gloss over the report. Take your time and weigh your decision carefully. If you’re being pressured or rushed, talk to your attorney about it, so they can help you get some space to make an informed decision about what to do next.
You have to remember that you’ve still got work to do for this due diligence period; you’re not done yet! Whatever you need to do as a result of the home inspection has to be done before you sign the P&S (Purchase and Sale Agreement). Once you sign that agreement there are typically no more negotiations, and you’ve essentially purchased the home. Usually, the only option after that would be to back out and forfeit your deposit. So make sure you’re ready to sign that agreement when the time comes.
Remember it is your decision what to do next, and we are not telling you what to do, just giving you some tips.
Send the inspection report (click here to see a sample inspection report) to one or more trusted individuals who have home ownership experience. Ask them to read the inspection report and schedule a call /meeting with them ASAP.
Re-read the report, and Isolate anything that is a major item, safety item or requires additional investigation.
For all areas that require additional investigation (like if a structural engineer is recommended) get that professional out there to investigate the issue NOW. Don’t skip this step and don’t wait until after the signing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Insist with your agent that you must get this done.
For all major repair items: Get quotes. In a perfect world, you’d get three estimates for any individual major item - like roof replacement. Practically, that might be a challenge.
Take all the things noted in the report, the estimates, and any additional reports you've gotten, and make a master list. That master list should include everything needing to be done and the costs associated with them. Some may be “future repair” items. Now you'll want to decide if you are going to ask anything of the seller of the home. Whether or not you ask the seller to repair anything or give you some concessions as a result of findings from a home inspection or any other tests/analysis/inspections is up to you, and you should consult with your agent and your attorney about this. If you do choose to request anything, our software contains a tool, called a "Repair Request List Builder". This tool allows you to pull any items from directly from the inspection report and make a separate list to share with the seller. This makes it so you won't have to share the entire report, which may contain additional information relevant to the home, but not relevant to the negotiation. Take a look at a quick how-to video on this tool here.
Once any and all negotiation is completed, check with your real estate attorney to make sure you have the green light to sign your P&S. As long as you’re prepared for the costs and future eventualities of owning this home, then move forward! If the numbers don’t work, then take a step back and try to figure out where/how you’ll be able to afford these issues, or walk away. It is your decision and it should not be taken lightly.
I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it is all worth it. Once you buy that home, you’re going to have to take care of it and give it the love and attention it needs!
This is also a way to help you detach from the emotional aspects - what you love about the home, why you love it, how you envision your life there, and other elements of the homebuying decision- and make sure that this home will also work for you logically, financially, practically, and logistically.
We hope this helps! Let us know what you think.