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What To Do If The House Fails Inspection

If your offer for a home is accepted and the house fails the inspection, it is best to view this development as a step in the right direction.  Though the results of a home inspection have the potential to be a deal-breaker, this detailed report is an essential step in the home purchase process.  Even if you exit the deal, you will now have your finger on the pulse of the local New Jersey real estate market and also have a better idea of what to look for when resuming your home search.  Let’s delve into the steps to take after a home fails inspection.

house inspection

Read Through The Inspection Report

The party conducting the home inspection will likely provide you with a written report within 24 hours or less.  Read through this report to find out exactly what caused the home to fail inspection.  If the problems are relatively minor, a deal can likely be worked out with the seller.  If there are significant repairs to be made, the seller might not be as interested in spending hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on those projects.  

However, the seller might be willing to pay for some of the necessary repairs.  Review the results of the inspection with our New Jersey real estate attorneys and we will begin drafting a letter to the seller’s real estate attorney, explaining exactly what improvements will be made and which party is to pay for them.

What If The Seller Won’t Make The Necessary Repairs?

If the home seller refuses to make the repairs necessary for the home to pass inspection or refuses to pay a fair amount of money toward those repairs, your New Jersey real estate attorney will play a vitally important role in your exit from the deal.  At this point, your real estate attorney will create and sign a disapproval that disapproves of the contract. 

The formal disapproval takes the form of a letter sent to the seller's attorney, stating pursuant to a specific paragraph in the proposed contract between the parties, the contract is formally disapproved.  This document will be transmitted to the following parties:

  • The sellers' attorney
  • You, the buyer
  • Your real estate agent 
  • The seller's real estate agent 

At this point, the real estate contract for the home in question is no longer valid.  Shift your attention to other homes on the NJ market, ideally with fewer problems, and you will stand a much better chance of snagging a home that passes inspection.

You Can Always Try To Negotiate The Price Down

Another option following a failed home inspection is to negotiate the price down to a more reasonable number.  The property clearly needs improvements considering the fact that it failed inspection.  Instead of negotiating credits or repairs, consider asking the seller to reduce the home’s sale price to a level that reflects the amount of money you will spend on repairs after moving in.  Don’t hesitate to provide an estimate from home repair specialists so the seller understands exactly how much money you will have to fork over to repair the home.

How Much Do You Really Want The Home?

Making a beeline to our New Jersey attorney to draft a real estate contract disapproval letter following a failed home inspection might not be the best course of action.  Take a moment to consider how badly you want the home in question.  Keep in mind, plenty of New Jersey homes have cracks in basement walls, slightly flawed structural components, wet spots on the ceilings from prior leaks and other relatively minor issues that are likely to be characteristic of most local homes on the market.  

Furthermore, there is no guarantee another one of your home offers will be accepted.  It might make sense to move forward with the purchase in spite of the fact that the home failed inspection simply because several other home-seekers might be willing to purchase the house “as is” due to the fact that we are in a seller’s market.  Ideally, the buyer and seller will come to a fair and mutually beneficial agreement in which both parties contribute toward repair costs. 

Consider Selling The Inspection Report To The Seller

If you decide the home is not worth the money originally offered after reading through the disappointing inspection report, don’t wallow in self-pity!  You sidestepped a metaphorical financial grenade by exiting the deal.  The icing on the cake is the fact that you might be able to sell the home inspection report to the seller.  You are not legally obligated to state exactly what language in the inspection report dissuaded you from purchasing the home. 

The seller just might offer the entire cost of the inspection ($300 or even more) to obtain the inspection report from you.  The seller will then read through the report to determine exactly what is wrong with the home, determine the types of improvements that must be made and eventually put the home back on the market.  You can put the proceeds toward your next home inspection or use it to refuel your vehicle as you drive to additional open houses in the days and weeks ahead.

Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli Is At Your Service 

Our New Jersey real estate attorneys are here to represent you in your real estate purchase or sale.  From creating and transmitting the appropriate documents to exit a home purchase contract after a failed inspection to analyzing the nuances of your real estate contract and guiding you through the close, our team’s assistance will prove invaluable every step of the way toward home ownership.  If you are considering buying or selling a home in New Jersey, reach out to our legal team today to schedule an initial consultation by dialing (973) 785-9522.

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Robert J. Bavagnoli is a Passaic County attorney specializing in personal injury and real estate law. He founded Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli in 1995 where he practiced for many years alongside his brother, Ronald C. Bavagnoli (now deceased). For over 28 years, he has proudly served Northern New Jersey including Passaic County, Bergen County, and Essex County, among others, recovering millions in damages for his clients.

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Highest praise for the professionalism and ease of working with Robert Bavagnoli and his team! I used his services for the sale and closing of a home. He acted quickly, made the process easy and covered all the bases so I didn't have to be concerned about anything. This gentleman is a pleasure to do business with and who I want in an attorney!

- Lynda R.

Great firm for personal injury plaintiffs. The welfare of the client always comes first.

- Jonathan M.

Thorough, friendly, upbeat and very professional. They kept me informed of every decision they made.  They made me feel like I’m part of their family. I would highly recommend Robert Bavagnoli to anyone that needs the assistance.

- Earl C.

I was involved in an accident and didn't know what to do.  I decided to call Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli. They welcomed me to their firm. They were so polite and as I spoke with them and saw how friendly and polite they were it lifted me up and put my mind at ease. I wasn't scared anymore and it was an excellent experience from beginning to end.

- Tamika P.

For me the experience with Bavagnoli and Bavagnoli was wonderful!  My lawyer handled my case and it went excellent, even better than I imagined.

- Ms. Dela Cruz

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Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli Office

12 Furler St.
Suite 5,
Totowa, NJ 07512

Phone: (973) 785-9522


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