Home inspection negotiation

Jenn.LeeSeptember 28, 2012

I have received the home inspection report for the house which I am about to sign the contract for. Here are some of the main issues indicated in the report. Am I being unreasonable for asking the sellers to make the repairs, or to at least cover some of the repair cost?

1. In basement was found Asbestos Containing materials, which is

used to wrap heating pipes

2. Bathroom's electric outlet is incorrectly wired (hot and neutral contacts interchanged).

3. One of the burners of the gas stove cannot be ignited.

4.Wall of the meter room was damaged by termites before.

5. In the boiler room basement Pressure / Temperature Relief Valve of Hot Water Boiler was not connected with Discharge Pipe

Thanks all!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my opinion, items 2-5 are reasonable. Item 1 is very expensive. If the asbestos is in tact, there is no reason to remove it. If it bothers you, you can have it boxed over. What did the inspector recommend?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why did you have an inspection done on a home for which you didn't already have an executed contract?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jenn Lee, all of those things are reasonable requests from a home inspection. I advise my clients to ask for anything that is health or safety related. Asbestos abatement isnt as expensive as most people think. Most of the removals I've seen are under $1500.

Sylvia, this is how it is done is a lot of areas around the country. (mine included)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Keep in mind the seller may have already taken these things into account in pricing.

It is NOt a 'new' house.

" In basement was found Asbestos Containing materials, which is
used to wrap heating pipes "
Unless the asbestos pipe laging is shedding fibers from deterioration it is not a hazard that requires anything.

Did he check for lead solder in the water supply pipes also?

It was used extensively before being banned in 1986.

Sounds like you might be happier with a brand new house (the ones far more likely to fall apart just as a 30 year mortgage is paid off).

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just an FYI-Number 5 on your list was probably THE most common thing I saw on inspection reports when I was a Realtor. It should be an easy fix that anyone that owns a home should be able to do themselves.

As far as the burner-I would suggest having it fixed but also be aware that it may not be broken. If it was recently cleaned, it may have had a piece of "fuzz" stuck in the ignitor or the cap was not placed on correctly. I was once at a home inspection and the inspector began to note that the burner didn't light. I jostled the cap around for a second and it worked fine. I knew the same thing had happened in my own home after cleaning.

Is the wall structurally sound?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks, linda!

seems odd to me, but then people always say that, whatever it is, the way we do it in texas is odd.

Stove burners do get clogged with a sooty build-up;
often a homeowner can remove it with a vigorously applied toothbrush.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Somehow inspection reports have morphed into (re)negotiation opportunities.

They used to be just options for contracted buyers to void the contract, with no penalty, if issues that they hadn't previously known about were found.

This is a used house. It will have issues. Presumably the essential fact - the used house reality - was apparent before an offer was made. If not, and it is news, then this is your get out and get back your deposit moment. My advice: Seize it and move on.

You can ask the seller to make some repairs, and he may may or may not be willing to do so to oblige you (and to keep a semi-committed prospect). But I expect he may have already taken the used-house reality into account in his pricing, and if he didn't, the buyer should have done so before making their offer.

Just my take, your opinion may vary.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

#1 and #4 would bother me most; a friend knew that there was limited termite damage when she bought her home, but the termites had been treated and the needed repairs seemed reasonable.

Note the past tense.

The extent of the damage has only become evident over time. I'm not sure if her inspector failed to look for it, or if she overlooked it, or what, but I'd be cautious about making sure that you're aware of the extent of the damage.

#2: I had a similar problem when I bought my own house: the basic idea is that you turn off the circuit to those outlets, take off the covers, and switch the wires (black wire should be connected to brass screw; white wire to silver screw). I took about 20 minutes to check a few sources on how to do it, about 10 minutes for the first outlet, maybe 20 minutes for the second outlet (because a large piece furniture was blocking my light and I kept dropping the flashlight that I was holding in my teeth!). It wasn't hard to do, I'm really proud of myself, and I learned quite a bit about wiring. A larger concern in a bathroom would be to make sure that they're GFCI outlets.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

#1 is unreasonable.
The others, maybe less so.

You bought a house in a era of Asbestos use. It isn't damaged, and removing it causes the "danger" (stirring it up). Now you know for sure you have it. And, let it be.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh for Pete sakes. Sure � a renegotiation opportunity. Why not? The seller is always free to accept or reject the negotiations.

Some crucial bits of info are missing here. Re #1, the OP hasn�t said what the inspector recommends or what the condition is. If the insulation material is literally falling down in chunks (as was the case in ahouse I lived in a few years back) and you see the pieces lying on the floor underneath - then it will most likely need to be removed entirely.

Yes, Brick eye, it sometimes happens that an old house DOES have real issues that should be addressed. And sometimes what you as a buyer are told things about the condition that can be quite at odds with what your inspector is telling you - so that's why we need the mechanism for being able to reopen negotations (or walk away).

If it is intact. the recommendation will be to either leave it be, or encapsulation which seals it more securely.

In addition to health and safety issues, if the house is being billed as move-in ready, then I would re-negotiate anything that affects liveability, or if repairs are needed that would affect liveability while they are being done. So that could be item #1 and perhaps #4 (OP does not say if the damaged wall is structurally sound.)

I wouldn�t bother with the outlet or a stove or anything piddly like that. Also I wouldn�t have the seller correct anything � they may just do the crummiest cheapest job which you�ll end up having to re-do anyway (voice of experience here.)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the seller does not perform the repairs, how do you suggest that they get done?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the seller does not perform the repairs, how do you suggest that they get done?

Negotiate for a reduction in price so that you can get it fixed once you move in. Isn't that a pretty standard thing to do?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FYI, identifying hazardous materials and/or the inspection of those materials is beyond the scope of a home inspection by nationally accepted standards as well as most if not all state licensing regulations, so the HI may or may not be correct in his assumption, as there is no way to know if he was trained in hazardous material recognition and inspection.
That said, chances are that it is asbestos, however, it really should be tested in order to be certain. If the HI did not do so, the sellers could request verification before they negotiate any action to remediate.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What qualifies an offer as a "low ball"?
Hello! Im on the house hunting side of things now! I...
Help, quick! VA Loan Problems?
My friend is selling her home. She's received two...
Sell Home, Go to Court Or What?
This may be the first time I have posted asking for...
Move or not?
Went to an open house the other day. The house was...
New front door--ok to put lockbox on back door?
We have a new (quite expensive) front door and screen...
Sponsored Products
Glomar Ceiling Mounted Lighting 1-Light Flush-Mount Aged Bronze Domed Light
$69.99 | Home Depot
Yellow 'Cherish Every Moment' Frame
$12.99 | zulily
Sea Gull Lighting Outdoor Lighting. Riverside Wall-Mount 1-Light Outdoor White F
Home Depot
Sure Fit Stretch Leather 2-Piece Sofa Slip Cover
Acorn Rough Flat - Track Only - BHBBI-5
$82.40 | Hayneedle
TRIBECCA HOME Knightsbridge Dark Grey Linen Tufted Scroll Arm Chesterfield Loves
Mallorca Border Cream and Red Rectangular: 8 Ft. x 11 Ft. 2 In. Rug
$294.95 | Bellacor
Dark Bronze Mortise Hinge with Ball Finials
Signature Hardware
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™