Meet Our Members

Making Informed Decisions Through Home Inspections

by Danielle Rownin of Rownin Associates at Keller Williams Realty

For Connecticut Realtors®, it’s not enough to put a real estate deal together; it’s keeping it together that has become an insurmountable challenge. So, what is the leading cause of transactions going south? The Home Inspection.

One of a Realtor’s® greatest responsibilities is to educate Buyers on the home buying process, especially the importance of a Home Inspection, which is to provide Buyers with information on a home that (a) was not disclosed by the Sellers, and (b) cannot be determined during the preview of a home. Realtors® are equally responsible for encouraging Sellers to complete the Residential Property Disclosure Form (Disclosure) as thoroughly and truthfully as possible. Upon reading the Disclosure, a Buyers’ offer to purchase should be based on what the Sellers disclosed (e.g., 20-year-old roof) and the condition of the home upon initial viewing (e.g., kitchen and baths need updating). All of this should be done prior to the Home Inspection.

Unfortunately, many Buyers enter a transaction with intent to leverage the results of the Home Inspection to further re-negotiate the sales price, often resulting in cancelled contracts and loss of sales. The true purpose of a Home Inspection is to identify major defects, not previously seen or disclosed, that will cost Buyers above purchase price to repair.

If you’re a serious Buyer, take care when reading the Disclosure so you can make an informed purchasing decision and avoid being disappointed later (and out hundreds of dollars in inspection costs). And Sellers, filling out the Disclosure completely and honestly will go a long way to prevent having undisclosed items used against you during the Home Inspection negotiation. Together we can keep transactions together and move our housing economy forward and upward.