Paying for Repairs After a Home Inspection: Who is Responsible?

Real Estate Law

You’ve made it through the first stage of your home purchase- your offer was accepted and it is just a matter of time before you are a homeowner. But before you consider it a done deal, an inspection generally takes place. As one of the contingencies in a standard purchase contract, you have the right to have the home inspected within a certain time period and to cancel the contract based on the findings of the inspector.

The inspector is the potential buyer’s last opportunity to discover defects that may be hidden upon visual inspection or not obvious to a layman. Most potential buyers should expect the inspector to discover some items that need to be repaired or replaced, but these should be relatively minor and easy to handle. In some cases, the inspector uncovers more significant defects in the condition of the home which can present a real challenge for proceeding with the transaction.

In all cases, buyers and sellers should be aware of their rights and responsibilities when defects are noted in the home inspection report. Each state has individual regulations about certain problems inside a home that must be addressed. For example, safety conditions, such as mold or the lack of smoke detectors, are the seller’s responsibility and should be addressed immediately once the inspector has noted these issues. State laws have specific requirements for handling these matters. Beyond state-mandated repairs, if the contract stipulates that the seller will make certain repairs, then he is obligated to do so as a condition of closing.

If state law and the agreement do not require the seller to attend to repairs in the home, then he is not required to do so. The parties can negotiate repairs or a price adjustment if the inspection reveals that the defects are more than cosmetic in nature. This may entail reducing the purchase price to compensate the buyer for the repairs he must make once he is the owner of the home. Alternatively, the seller may offer to arrange and pay for the repairs himself prior to closing. In either case, the parties should put their agreement in writing to ensure that there is no dispute about what was agreed to during the closing.

The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at to find out how they can advise you.

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