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Your options if a home fails an inspection

So you're about to buy your dream house, and you get some bad news. The inspection results aren't good. Technically speaking, a home inspection doesn't work on a pass/fail setup, but the inspection revealed serious issues that you know have to be addressed. What can you do?

First off, you may able to get out of the purchase, based on your contract. Most contracts simply say that the purchase is contingent on the inspection and appraisal. Maybe the house just isn't worth it anymore and you want to look elsewhere. If your contract is written that way, you can walk away.

Another option is to have the sellers make the changes. This is often what they do when minor issues arise. It's worth it to the seller to put a few hundred or a few thousands dollars into the house to secure the sale.

That said, sellers technically can refuse to make the changes. They may demand that you make the repairs yourself. You'll then have to look at the costs, decide if it's worth it, consider the time it will take to make those repairs -- you may not be able to move in right away -- and consider whether or not you'd rather look for new sellers who are more cooperative.

In some cases, sellers don't have the time or money to make the repairs, but they may be willing to get a quote and drop the price of the house by the cost of the repairs. You can then use the money you saved to fix the house up any way you want. Some buyers prefer this because they'd rather make repairs that match their own desires, rather than letting the seller do it.

If a home fails inspection in Minnesota, be sure you consider all of your options carefully. It's crucial to know exactly how the contract is written and what alternatives it gives you.

Source: Inman, "What happens if home fails inspection?," Tara-Nicholle Nelson, accessed Sep. 30, 2016

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