There are certainly cases in which it is a surprise that a house does not pass inspection. This can also happen with commercial property. The seller believes that everything is in order, the buyer has walked through the property and didn’t see any problems and they have brought in an official home inspector.
Unfortunately, that inspector found some serious problems with the property. What happens now? There are typically three different options:
End the deal
One option is for the buyer to simply walk away from the deal and the negotiations. If they had a home inspection contingency in their offer, they’re not obligated to do anything else. They just don’t have to buy the home.
In some cases, the potential buyer will just ask the seller to make specific repairs before they accept the house. In theory, the home inspector will be able to point out all of the individual issues that caused the house to fail. A seller may find that it is easiest to just hire someone to quickly make those repairs and then move forward with the transaction.
Renegotiate the price
In other cases, especially if it seems like making repairs it’s just going to take too long, the two parties will renegotiate. Perhaps the home inspector found that the house needs a new roof and it’s going to cost $20,000. Rather than putting the new roof on, the seller may agree to just take $20,000 off of the purchase price. The buyer can then use this to get a new roof or not, as they’d like.
If you’re involved in a transaction on either side and it gets complicated, be sure you understand your legal options so that you can fully protect your interests.