Buyers are often under the impression that sellers are responsible for repairing all items revealed in a home inspection. In fact, sellers are under no legal obligation to make repairs unless designated in a purchase agreement or where requirements are set forth by state law or local ordinance. Examples of laws or ordinances include the number and configuration of smoke detectors and the installation of earthquake straps on a water heater.
All homes have defects and it is unrealistic to expect to find a home in perfect condition. Buyers can use a home inspection report as a negotiation tool by asking the seller to make repairs or to lower a purchase price.
When choosing which repairs to request, avoid routine maintenance issues and focus on any larger problems revealed, especially those that affect safety and involve active leakage. Contracts usually require basic systems such plumbing and issues such as leaky roofs to be repaired by the close of escrow.
The primary purpose of a home inspection is so that the buyer knows the condition of the home he or she is buying. Making extensive repair requests could alienate the seller and terminate the deal so buyers should proceed with caution.