A study of 50,000 home inspections by Repair Pricer – a company that estimates repair costs for items cited in home inspection reports – found that some repair costs tend to appear more often.
Nearly 55 percent of home inspections nationally cited doors that needed adjusting, for example; and 54 percent lacked exterior caulking and sealant, which could leave the home susceptible to extensive water damage. And about 48 percent of homes lacked GFCI protection to minimize the risk of electrocution in areas like the kitchen or bathroom.
The most expensive home defects ranged in repair prices from slightly more than $1,000 to less than $10,000:
Top 10 common home defects – percentage of homes – price to repair
- Doors need adjusting/servicing: 54.9% of reports – $254 to repair
- Faucets and heads need servicing: 54.8% of reports – $273 to repair
- Exterior caulking/sealant missing: 54.5% of reports – $310 to repair
- Outlets or switches with deficiencies: 53.7% of reports – $248 to repair
- No GFCI protection: 48.0% of reports – $433 to repair
- Absence of or defective smoke alarms: 45.06% of reports – $378 to repair
- Cosmetic sheetrock cracks or nail pops: 45.02% of reports – $545 to repair
- Fixtures and/or bulb deficiencies: 40.5% of reports – $209 to repair
- Caulking, grout and sealer are missing interior: 33.9% of reports – $353 to repair
- Service panel deficiencies: 33.7% of reports – $298 to repair
While expensive repairs are less common, one in 10 inspections cite a roof nearing the end of its useful life as the most expensive common repair generally noted. However, one in five reports find a problem with window seals, which can cost over $1,000 to repair
5 most expensive repairs found – percentage of homes – price to repair
- Roof nearing end of its serviceable life: 9.6% of reports – $9,948 to repair
- Coil and condenser at end of serviceable life: 10.7% of reports – $5,818 to repair
- Heating unit exceeded serviceable life: 10% of reports – $3,798 to repair
- Water heater may need replaced: 10% of reports – $1,259 to repair
- Window seals failed or fogged: 20.8% of reports – $1,026 to repair
What should buyers do with inspection report information?
Repair Pricer says buyers’ first instinct is often to ask sellers to make repairs, but “this tactic can frequently backfire. Even if the seller agrees … they’re under no obligation to implement quality repairs and frequently execute the cheapest option or fix, potentially leaving the buyer with substandard work, no transferable warranty and no recourse.”
Seller repairs can also give buyers a “false sense of security, believing their agents have negotiated and built a home warranty into their contracts.”
The best tactic, according to Home Repair, is to ask the seller for a repair credit if appropriate under the contract, and hire a contractor after closing to complete the repairs to the buyer’s standards – not the seller’s.
© 2019 Florida Realtors®