Because I am committed to telling the truth, I must inform you NOW that there are, most certainly, some things wrong with this house.
Please don’t be alarmed!
I know you love this house and think that it is PERFECT in EVERY way.
THIS house outshines ALL of those other houses you have viewed. It’s clean and fresh, smells great, beautifully landscaped, well appointed with the finest appliances, fantastic location, and even has that garden tub you’ve always wanted.
My intent is not rain on your parade or discourage you from proceeding with buying this house, but I do need to “get real” with you for a few moments.
We did our best negotiating the terms of this contract, and we didn’t get everything we wanted . . . I know you had hoped to be able to pay less and move in sooner, but the Seller had already committed to pricing and terms with the house they were buying and were very firm in your negotiation because they wanted their sale and purchase to align for them to have a smooth transition.
This Thursday, your Home Inspector will perform his inspection of the house. This inspection will likely take 3 or 4 hours to complete because the inspector will inspect EVERYTHING that is accessible. This will be a complete “Physical” of structure and every system (Roof, Plumbing, Electrical, air quality, water management, & etc).
Friday, you will receive a report from the inspector . . . This report may be 40+ pages and will be chock-full of disclaimers and legal jargon referencing the possibility of you needing to engage the services of a “specialist” to evaluate some components that may be “beyond the scope of the Home Inspection.”
Home inspectors aren’t Engineers or Plumbers or HVAC specialists or electricians . . . They know codes requirements and typically know enough about all of the systems to be able to identify (and flag) anything that appears to be deficient . . . perhaps improperly installed or not operating as it should.
The list of recommended “things to be addressed” will likely be in the range of 30-50 items and will be categorized in groups of importance (Structural, System, Codes, Safety).
DO NOT FREAK OUT!
Do not forget that you love this house!
Do not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Meet with your REALTOR and consider all of these deficiencies relative to your love for this house.
Many of these items will be small, inexpensive, quick-fixes.
Some will be aesthetic . . . perhaps less than perfect workmanship
Some will indicate items that are functioning now but are nearing the end of their life-span (Things to watch and/or budget for future replacement)
Focus ONLY on the deficiencies that are clearly BROKEN and/or may be causing more damage over time (water leaks – roof or foundation). Do whatever diligence you feel necessary to determine the scope of work and cost required to remedy those deficiencies and create a proposal to the Seller based on those findings. My favorite solution is to have the work performed by a contractor of YOUR (Buyer) choosing and negotiate the Seller paying that contractor from proceeds at closing.
My bottom line . . . When you fall in love with that house you want to make your home for years to come, keeping things in proper perspective is critical.
Identify the large issues and find resolution to those and let the rest go.
That batch of remaining smaller things to be fixed can then become the “Honey-Do” list as you settle in.
These are the “warts” when you say you the house warts and all 🙂