The Buyer Now Wants Seller to Pay for a Home Inspection - Now What?

The Buyer Now Wants Seller to Pay for a Home Inspection - Now What?
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The Need for Home Inspections

When a home is placed on the market for sale, an educated buyer usually won’t make an offer or the offer will be contingent on a satisfactory home inspection. If you’re the home owner and the buyer now wants the seller to pay for a home inspection—as the seller, you need to consider whether you should agree to this or not.

Home inspectors come in all shapes and sizes and as Real Estate Life Tips points out—no two inspections will be the same—no matter who pays for the service.

Home inspections do make a house more attractive to buyers if the seller pays for an inspection upon listing the house for sale. The Realtor listing the home can also use the pre-home inspection as a selling tool to gain more buyer interest.

Finally, some home loans such as FHA loans do require a home inspection as part of the home buying process—especially when buying a HUD home. But who is really responsible for paying for the inspection?

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Who Pays?

Legally, no seller has to pay for a home inspection but if your house has been on the market for some time and the buyer now wants you—the seller to pay for a home inspection—and you don’t—it could be a deal breaker.

Further, whoever hires the home inspector holds the largest interest in the results. If you, as the seller, pick a home inspector and pay for it, the inspector’s loyalty will fall to you as you entered into a contract and paid for the service.

If the buyer hires a home inspector and still wants you to pay for it—even if the inspector was hired by the buyer—since you, as the seller, are paying for it—the inspector will or at least should, consider you as their client.

So, as a seller, you don’t have to comply with finding or paying an inspector—but again, it may be something to consider to aid in closing the deal.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Home Inspections

If as the seller, you refuse to pay for the home inspection—no matter who finds the inspector, keep in mind that if the inspector finds major repairs that must be completed, the buyer will most likely ask you (the seller) to pay for the repairs or come down on the price so they can pay for the repairs on their own.

In the case of some HUD homes or FHA loans, if the inspection comes out poorly, the loan may not be approved and if the sale is contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection—you could lose the buyer. In most real estate transactions, the home inspection is considered part of the buyer’s closing costs.

Although as a seller, you have no legal obligation to pay for the home inspection—even if the buyer asks you to—if you do agree, ask your Realtor to recommend a good inspector, or you can seek out certified home inspectors from places such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

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