Most real estate surprises are the result of bad communication between the agent and the home buyer. If a home has some obvious imperfections and is put it on the market, it should be no surprise for the home inspection to confirm what you already know.
When a bad home inspection report occurs, it can be disappointing. When a inspection report shows serious structural problems, the buyer will probably back out. At the very least, properly dealing with the request for repairs is not as uncommon as people think because every home has flaws.
In fact, anything that uncovers a surprise problem with your house before close of escrow makes you that much less likely to get sued over the problem later on. If you agree to help the buyer with repairs, it’s very common to have them waive liability for later problems in exchange. You can feel more at peace with even bad inspection results when you start to view them as tools to eliminate future responsibility after the proper repairs are completed.
Even if you’re surprised by the inspection findings, good or bad, many buyers are not surprised when a home requires repairs. Many buyers will not interpret the reports as negatively as you do, and even if they do, a plan can be put into place to resolve any issues. Use your real estate agent and home inspection service as a resource.
Before anyone agrees to anything, get a couple of bids on the big ticket items from repair companies you choose or that are recommended by a company you trust. If nothing else, multiple bids will assuage your anxiety that the buyer’s team might have been fluffing the repair costs to get more out of you. Multiple bids are powerful in other ways too. Sometimes just showing the buyer that the repair may not be as urgent or as costly as they thought can cool both sides down and set the stage for a compromise. The compromise options are endless: you can do some repairs, give the buyer a credit, reduce the price, or do nothing at all, depending on what you can afford.
The home buying process can be confusing so allow time and attention to be spent on the details by a trusted real estate professional and a home inspection company working together for you.