Home inspection is part of the real estate process in almost every transaction. I mention “almost” because the buyer may elect not to require a home inspection. We will look at what happens in most transactions when the buyer does have an inspection performed by a professional home inspector.
Even though Colorado does not require home inspectors to be licensed or certified, most home inspectors are members and receive training with national organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors. They hold themselves to a high standard of practice and a code of ethics which may include additional standards and certifications of the home inspector’s branded company.
The home inspector is charged with the responsibility of inspecting the home from top to bottom; meaning they will be crawling through attics, on their bellies in crawl spaces under homes, and everything in between. They look at not only the structure but also appliances and mechanical systems of the home. Conducted home inspections are to notice anything that appears to be either nonfunctioning, defective or construction that is not by local code or non-permitted construction. During the inspection process inspectors document their findings with photos and comments and issue a final home inspection report addressed to who hired them.
Armed with this little bit of background, let’s look at what the process looks like for the buyer and seller in a transaction. Fast forward to the dates in the sale contract. The three dates we are concerned with here are:
• Inspection Objection Deadline
• Inspection Resolution Deadline
• Inspection Termination Deadline
The Inspection Objection Deadline is just that. By this date the buyer has the right to conduct their own inspection of the property either on their own or by hiring a professional. Mostly, we recommend the latter because it gives the buyer an arm’s length view and opinion of the physical condition of the property and takes a stab at first steps of correcting deficiencies. With the Home Inspection Report in hand, the buyer and their Realtor agree on what findings are important to the buyer. Then a formal Inspection Objection, signed by the buyer(s), is issued by the deadline and explains to the seller what the buyer is asking to be corrected.
Next, comes the Inspection Resolution Deadline. This is the date by which the seller must respond to the buyer’s Inspection Objection requests. The seller has the right to agree to all, some or none of the requests for correction the buyer has asked for. A healthy discussion between the seller and their Realtor here helps keep things on track to be reasonable in a response, i.e. by taking emotions out of decisions at this point, is important. The Colorado Real Estate Commission Sale Contract section 10.3.3 states: “If an Inspection Objection is received by Seller, on or before Inspection Objection Deadline and if Buyer and Seller have not agreed in writing to a settlement thereof on or before Inspection Resolution Deadline, this Contract will terminate on Inspection Resolution Deadline unless Seller receives Buyer’s written withdrawal of the Inspection Objection before such termination, i.e., on or before expiration of Inspection Resolution Deadline.”
As you can see, buyers and sellers must respond to an Inspection Resolution Deadline or the contract will terminate. That is the result of either inaction by one or both the buyer and seller, or not reaching agreement of what objection items asked for will be corrected by the seller.
These contractual rights of both parties are described in detail within The Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate. Once again, I’ll point out that buyers and sellers alike will benefit from employing the help of a licensed Realtor to help navigate the waters of the real estate process to avoid simple mistakes or misunderstandings.
See you next time with more helpful information in Home and Real Estate!
Michael Harper is owner/broker of Michael Harper Real Estate. Contact him through his website, MichaelHarperRealtor.com.