Let’s Talk About Reinspections
When a home buyer asks a seller to make repairs to a property after a home inspection, how do the repairs get checked? Do they get reinspected? Do they need to be reinspected? I asked our inspectors and answers were quite varied. (One, I won’t mention who, even though I should draw a Venn diagram to demonstrate). Here are some guidelines to help you decide when a reinspection is needed. (Venn diagram not included)
Avoid Seller Repairs. If the seller is going to make repairs, it is not uncommon for them to do the least amount of work and use the least amount of money possible. This often results in repairs being sub-par or just plain bad. If buyers not going to request that the seller uses a licensed, insured and professional service provider, it may be better to ask the sellers to fund repairs or ask for the price of the home to be adjusted accordingly. (Note, the downside to adjusting the price of the home, however, is that the buyers will need to fund repairs).
Make sure all parties understand the issue(s). An excellent home inspection report will usually be enough to make everything clear and understandable. If there is any confusion, ask the home inspector for clarification. A common problem with a repair request is to ask for the wrong thing to be fixed or to specify an improper repair.
Requesting repairs? Request permits. Requesting a copy of the permit for repairs completed not only drives the seller to ‘follow the rules’, but it helps make the buyer feel better knowing that the work was inspected by an authority. (This also puts the cost of the re-inspection onto the seller).
Be specific. When requesting repairs, if the purchase agreement addendum is poorly written or isn’t specific, the repairs won’t be completed properly… if at all.
Peace of Mind. When all of the above happens, a reinspection by the original inspector probably isn’t necessary, but it may still provide the buyer with peace of mind. Just as we find countless defects on new construction inspections, improper repairs frequently happen with real estate transactions, no matter who does the work. When there is any doubt in the buyer’s mind as to the quality of the work being done, it may be worthwhile to have a re-inspection performed.
Important Note: while the inspector can determine if work has been completed (when visible), the inspector cannot guarantee that all the work was done in a competent manner, especially if the repair, or a portion of the repair, is hidden behind personal possessions, finished materials, or equipment cabinets. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. Be aware that a reinspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made. For this reason, please keep copies of any repair contracts, warranties, or guarantees from the service provider making the repairs. These contracts should be used for any claims regarding workmanship. It is strongly recommended that repairs are conducted by a licensed, insured, and professional service company.
Be Prepared. To perform a reinspection of repaired items, the inspector must be provided with a copy of the agreed-to repairs at least 48 hours prior to the re-inspection. I would also recommend that copies of repairs, completed by licensed tradespeople, as well as receipts and related paperwork, be included. Inspectors will inspect to the addendum item requests, not to the original inspection report or summary. Scheduling should be done as early as possible and provide sufficient notice. We can never guarantee open time will be available so we recommend at least 7 days or more notice to ensure they can be performed before your closing.
Pricing: Pricing is based on how much time the re-inspection is going to take. We have a base fee of $95 per hour with a minimum of 1 hour and may include travel or expediting fees if applicable. Due to the timing, it is requested that payment is at or before the time of service.
Re-inspections never hurt and a lot of time people get inspections done for the “feel good” factor. If repairs are being done by licensed contractors, the repair requests are specific, and appropriate permits are pulled, re-inspections probably aren’t necessary. If the repairs are being done by the seller, I strongly recommend a reinspection. I have yet to do a single re-inspection where it was the seller who completed the repairs, and everything was done properly.
The bottom line is sometimes people get reinspections for the “feel good” factor or peace of mind. Other times, reinspections can be very necessary depending on what’s on the list, the type of repair, the accessibility of the area and etc. Either way, be informed and prepared and most of all, call us if you have any questions.
Dana Mirowski, Mirowski Inspections, LLC – EMAIL – Home Inspections Springfield MO
Mirowski Inspections, LLC is a fully insured, multi-inspection company located in Springfield MO. Owners Steve and Dana Mirowski believe in using the latest technologies, continuous education, providing detailed inspection reports that are easy to understand, and delivering a superior customer service experience. The Mirowski Inspection teams goal is to protect your time, your family, and your investment and wants to be the inspection company you think of when you have a question about your home, building, or investment property. Services include residential and commercial inspections, environmental testing and drone inspectour™imaging.