Once your home is under contract, the buyer will probably want to do a home inspection. (This will have been noted in the offer on your home.) The purpose of the home inspection is to ensure there are no major property condition issues to deal with. The home inspector will produce a report for the buyer on any needed repairs and suggested maintenance. The buyer will then negotiate with you for requested home inspection repairs.

The Process of Requested Home Inspection Repairs

InspectorWithin the home inspection contingency period, the buyer will provide the seller with a list of requested repairs and a copy of the inspection report.  In the DC metro area, the buyer typically specifies in writing which repairs must be made by a professional contractor.  The ones which are not identified by the buyer as those which must be made by a professional licensed contractor may be made by the seller or an unlicensed contractor.  Some of the requested home inspection repairs may be maintenance items such as changing the filter in your HVAC while other repairs may be safety and structural.  For example, the home inspector may discover that your furnace heat exchanger is cracked or that your deck is not properly attached to the house and could fall.  Clearly those are not items you want to tackle yourself.

Can the Seller Do All the Requested Repairs?

Once the home inspection addendum has been agreed to and signed by both buyers and sellers, this document controls the repair process.  Prior to closing, the buyer will do a walk through of the property to make sure that the property is in the same condition as when the contract was ratified.  At the same time, the buyer will verify that all repairs which had been agreed upon have been performed.  The buyer will expect paid receipts for all the repairs which were agreed to no later than closing.   If the buyer suspects that the repairs were not done by a licensed professional contractor, the buyer may insist that funds be escrowed at closing for the work to be examined by a licensed professional contractor and corrected if needed.


It is always best to follow the contract, including the home inspection addendum, as it is laid out.  As a home seller don’t  go wild and decide to save money by doing some repairs yourself!  As the seller, you want to keep the contract in place and moving toward closing. Do not risk losing the contract by trying to save a few dollars.  I have seen many an argument over silly fixes done by the homeowner incorrectly.  It is just not worth the loss of selling a home to a ready, willing & qualified buyer.

Another Great Reason to Do a Pre-Listing Inspection

The buyer may want some repairs to be done by a licensed professional that you as the seller really believe you could do yourself.  It may be annoying to pay a contractor $80 an hour to clean a dryer vent or tighten a toilet when you know you could do it yourself.  If you had only done a home inspection before listing your home for sale!  You could have determined that the toilet was loose and needed to be tightened.  You would have saved $80-$100 and the buyer would never have known that you were the one tightening that toilet!  Other items identified during a pre-listing home inspection could be addressed by the contractor of your choice so that you could have held costs down.

If you have questions about how to arrange for a pre-listing home inspection and you live in the DC metro area, give the Lise Howe Group a call at 240-401-5577 or email us at lise@lisehowe.com.  We would be delighted to recommend some excellent home inspectors who can help you out.

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