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Inspection Misconceptions (the other 3)

Continuing with the 7 misconceptions about home inspections…. The first 4 of 7 (March news) can be found at www.homebuyerassociates. com

5. The Seller is required to extend the inspection contingency deadline if the buyer needs more time.

The simple answer is no, the seller does not have to extend the inspection deadline. When drafting an Offer, allow sufficient time for the inspector to schedule, complete the inspection and for you to review the inspection. Inspectors are busy in an active market. Also, the inspector may call for additional inspections that require additional time (See my February Part 1 E-Note for timing of inspections.)

From the seller agent/seller’s side, they want things done quickly. The key is to find a balance between a realistic time and acceptable time to the seller for the inspection deadline.

Deadlines are important. Deadlines matter. Deadlines can put money at risk. We manage deadlines.

6. You must sign the Real Estate Condition Report (RECR) as part of your Offer to Purchase.

No, you are not bound to sign the RECR as part of your Offer to Purchase and we generally counsel our clients not to sign. In its simplest form all you need to know is that the real estate agent and seller want you to sign the RECR – two participants in the purchase who don’t have your interests at heart.

By signing the RECR we believe you limit your options after the inspection has been completed, especially if a seller is unreasonable. There are exceptions to this rule but I’ll not bore you with those. If you’d like to know more feel free to contact Seamus or me.

7. “It is company policy” to have the RECR signed as part of the Offer.

This note is for those who work with traditional real estate agents or part-time “buyer agents” (Homebuyer Associates are full time Exclusive Buyer Agents).

At Homebuyer Associates this is what we tell the agent, “It’s our policy not to have the RECR signed.” Done. Why would our clients sign a RECR accepting disclosures from the seller before their inspection was completed? Why is this important to you? See below.


Re: Notice of Defects. If something is disclosed on the Real Estate Condition Report, i.e., basement wall movement or discoloration in the roof, and the buyer signed the RECR and it was made part of the offer, can the buyer list that as a defect after inspection?


As a general rule, a buyer who has actual knowledge or written notice of a defect before writing the offer cannot list that condition when giving a notice of defects under the inspection contingency. The purpose of the inspection contingency is to discover defects that the buyer did not know about before the offer.

The issue here is whether or not the seller’s RECR disclosures addressed the full “nature and extent” of the basement wall movement and discoloration in the roof. In the end it is a bit more complicated than Zillow or Trulia or HGTV or….make it appear. If your money wasn’t at risk it wouldn’t matter. Your money is at risk.

Thanks for reading,

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129