While the Eastside housing market is certainly not cool, it is a bit more buyer friendly than this same time last year. Take, for example, the stats from June below. 48% of homes sold in June at or above list price compared with 67% in June of 2018. This softening is being caused by more inventory on the market and providing buyers with more negotiating power.
In the hot market of the past couple of years, many buyers would forego an inspection contingency in order to get the home. Today, inspection contingencies are becoming commonplace again and for good reason. Buyers need to make sure they fully understand the condition of the property they are purchasing and having a qualified inspector look at every nook and cranny is far better than relying just on the seller’s representations in the disclosure form (Form 17).
The NWMLS Inspection Addendum (Form 35) allows the buyer to have a standard 10 days from mutual acceptance of the purchase and sale agreement to complete their inspection. This period can, of course, be modified. During the inspection period, the buyer can perform the inspection themselves, or through a licensed inspector chosen and paid for by the buyer. The scope of the inspections can be very broad, but cannot be invasive or alter the property without the seller’s consent.
The inspection contingency is an “automatic waiver” contingency. Meaning that if the buyer does not provide a notice to the seller disapproving the inspection, the contingency is automatically waived and the buyer can no longer use it as a means to negotiate repairs or terminate the transaction.
What happens in many cases is that the buyer may find something that they dislike about the condition of the property and the contingency form provides a means for the buyer and seller to negotiate repairs or other consideration for the disapproved conditions.
Just recently, the NWMLS Inspection Addendum was revised to state that the buyer will not provide the inspection report, or portions of the report, to the seller unless the seller requests a copy, or as required to deliver notice of additional inspections.
If you are in the market for a home, it’s critical to understand the condition of the property you are buying and the Inspection Addendum is a great way to ensure that you have as much information as possible.
If you are selling, you might consider getting a pre-listing inspection so that you can either repair items that will come up during the buyer’s inspection or at least know what a buyer might object to as they work their way through the inspection. Knowledge is power!
If you have any questions about inspections or other “must know” elements of a good offer, I’m here to help. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at 425-553-7473.
Happy house hunting!