The other day a buyer that I am working with had their home inspection and it made me think about some past transactions. These are good times for a buyer to find out some additional things regarding a home. Unfortunately some buyers use these inspections as opportunities to re-negotiate the price they paid for the home. If there are legitimate concerns that were not discovered during the sale process by all means they should be discussed and hashed out between the parties.
What concerns most sellers and their agents is the use of a home inspection regarding maintenance issues. For example; when a buyer views a well-kept home that is 15-20 years old it stands to reason that the furnace is original. Most manufacturers will say that their furnaces have a life expectancy of 15-20 years. This does not mean that the furnace will stop running in year 21. Nor does it mean that they will chug along for another 20 years.
Some buyers will use this opportunity to obtain a new furnace from the seller because of the age of the older unit or have the furnace tuned and cleaned at the home owner’s expense. Some sellers are eager to have this done (which begs the question why didn’t you do that before you listed the house, but that is another topic) and some start to argue.
Buyers should know that maintenance is a part of homeownership. If you are purchasing a home you should have funds available to repair things that break or replace things that stop working. This is part and parcel of ownership.
I have known of buyers to call back past sellers years after the sale looking for financial assistance for repairs that the now buyer-turned-owner needs to take care! Sounds silly but it actually happened. Buyers beware—you will have to maintain your property.
Glenn Hanon, Shorewest, REALTORS®
Categories: Home Buying