The typical home has more than 60,000 individual parts. Professional home inspectors can only see a small fraction of those parts and do their very best to predict where issues may arise in the future. While they cannot see through walls or test every single element of the home, they can work from past findings, previous experience and general knowledge of construction in order to make an informed report on your inspection. But what if you want to dispute something that’s on the home inspection? Whether you are a buyer or seller there may be things that you simply don’t agree with when it comes to your home inspection.
A lot of these disputes could come down to misunderstanding about the inspection process or what the inspector actually found. It’s always a good idea to accompany the inspector throughout the home inspection process so that you can ask questions at the time and not be shocked or surprised at anything in the report. If there is something in the report that was not mentioned during the inspection, this is where you’ll need to clarify the findings.
It’s also a good idea to read each word of the inspectors contract before having the inspection and their report afterwards. You need to understand exactly what the inspector will be doing and performing. If there is something that they do not inspect they may request you have an additional inspection. However, this is something that you should ask them at the time of the inspection and not be surprised afterward when 10 things need additional inspections. You should understand beforehand what the inspector will cover and what will be in the report. If the inspector is fairly new, only inspect the interior of the home or limits a lot of the additional inspections, you may want to find a different inspector.
If there are things that you don’t understand or dispute on the report there are several ways you can go about it:
- Call the inspector and ask for an explanation
- If there is a conflicting opinion from another party including the buyer or the seller, as the inspector for the basis of their opinion
- Leverage the inspector’s findings in negotiations but don’t use the inspector as your negotiator. Any negotiations should be done between the buyers agent and the listing agent
- If you are unhappy, contact the inspector and let them know your concerns. Most inspectors will attempt to make amends or explain the issues satisfactorily.
- If you are unsatisfied, you can return the inspector’s written report, sign a legal waiver of action from your lawyer and ask for your money back. (This is not always the best course of action but may be attempted as a last effort.)
Related Post: Can you Waive the Home Inspection?
What if the Seller Disagrees with the Inspection?
It doesn’t happen often but occasionally the seller will dispute the home inspection.. However, this is their legal right to do so. They can reject the report altogether but is up to the buyer whether or not they will continue to negotiate or accept the sellers rejection of the inspection. The buyer can still request the seller to make necessary repairs or replacements and if the seller refuses to make those changes, they could risk the buyer backing out of the deal altogether. Often times, home loans will not complete unless the seller performs certain repairs or remedies hazardous issues. This alone gives the buyer little choice but to terminate the transaction. A buyer cannot force the seller to complete any repairs in the buyer could ask for either a price reduction or cancel the agreement altogether. Of course, buyers, sellers and all agents involved always want an amicable negotiation but there are those times where sellers can be unreasonable to their own fault.
The inspection process is one that should be done with thought and care. This is a valuable investment and you should take care to understand all you can about it but if there is something you disagree with, talk to the inspector about it and find an amicable solution rather than lose the home you love.