So, you find a condo you like. You (through your buyer’s agent, of course) make an offer. Included in the offer are three contingencies: you’ll buy the home, if 1) you can get financing; 2) you can review all condo docs prior to signing of the purchase and sale contract; and, 3) you can have a home inspection and be able to withdraw (or renegotiate) your offer if hidden defects or repairs are estimated to cost you more than $1,000.
Before you make your offer, ask the sellers if they had a home inspection prior to listing the home for sale. They may have. They are not required to show it to you, but, if they don’t, that should raise a red flag. What are they hiding, after all?
The seller is required to tell you about all material (read, “significant”) defects, up front. Of course, what they consider to be “material” is open to interpretation, right?
The sellers may have had a home inspection before they listed their property for sale. And, anyone who previously made an offer on the property may have had a home inspection, too. That home inspection might not have been shared with the sellers (it’s the buyers’ choice whether or not to share it with the sellers), but the sellers would probably know what problems were discovered.
Ask the sellers. Yes, it might make them squirm a bit, if they have to fess up to something that they should have told you about, or if they have to tell you something that might not seem that relevant or important. They know you want the home, and will be afraid that if they say anything at all, you’ll walk.
Listen carefully. Get a third-party’s opinion on the extent of any problem. Then, decide – do you want the sellers to fix the problem, do you want to negotiate a lower sales price because of the problem, or do you want to walk away?
More: Do sellers need to have home inspection? – By Robert J. Bruss, Inman News, by way of The Boston Globe
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Updated: 1st Q 2018