In-Bounds or Out-of-Bounds?

The Buyer finished their professional home inspection, and just delivered a long list of issues to resolve with the Seller including this one: “New future back and side doors: (large amount).”

Such a demand is clearly outside the scope of the inspection, and not properly raised with the Seller.


A. The item is prospective, not a here-and-now home defect;
B. The side and back doors (and their condition) were plainly visible prior to the Buyer’s inspection;
C. The Buyer hasn’t converted the problem to a dollar amount, supported by a third-party quote or estimate;
D. All of the above.

Correct answer: “D.”

“No Harm in Asking, Right? (Right??)”

Post-inspection, Buyers can certainly ask for whatever they want ” though truly egregious requests risk poisoning the deal, and jeopardize resolving even legitimate items with the Seller.

However, in general, the ground rules for Buyers raising items, post inspection, are: a) they’re material in amount (not $25 or even $250); and b) they weren’t readily visible prior to the inspection.

So, that dated Bathroom, tired Living Room carpet, or worn asphalt driveway may indisputably all require future outlays by the next owner.

But, since those things were readily visible when the Buyer did their showing(s), they’re already reflected in the asking price.

P.S.: Alternatively, when Buyers and Sellers are negotiating inspection issues, they should pose this question: “if we can’t resolve an issue, and the deal cancels as a result, is the Seller obligated to change their Disclosure?

If the answer is “Yes,” the Buyer can expect the Seller to either fix the item, or give a corresponding price concession.

If the answer is “No” . . . the Buyer is typically out-of-luck.

**Actual Buyer language on a (proposed) Amendment, post-inspection, in a deal where I represented the Seller as listing agent.

See also, “The Difference Between a Home Inspection Addendum and a Repair List.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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