Vail Daily column: Pitfalls of the ‘inspection objection’ |

Vail Daily column: Pitfalls of the ‘inspection objection’

Dear Joan,

I know you have talked about the troubles and pitfalls of the inspection objection section of the contract in the past, but now I am there and feeling like I am being tricked into a sizable price reduction — actually the same dollar amount we made the buyers go up, in a counter offer to their original offer price. Maybe this is a coincidence, but it does not bode well with me.

I wish I would have listened more closely to what you said in the past. Is it too late for me to do anything now? Can you let me know some sage wisdom to get through this, as our closing date is supposed to be very soon, if indeed we do close. Thanks.

Dear Inspection Casualty,

Hopefully you can work your way to a reasonable solution in time for your closing. The first advice, as always, is to get a great Realtor to list your home and help you work your way to getting the best offer possible, usually through the work of a strategic counter proposal, that will work for the buyer and for you as well. Pricing and marketing your property are skills your Realtor needs. However, the most important skill is negotiating. It starts right from the moment your Realtor negotiates with you for commission and pricing, and culminates with your Realtor negotiating on your behalf with the buyer.

Consequently, your skilled Realtor should help arrange the contract dates so that the your buyer does his inspection as soon as is humanly possible after you go under contract. It should not be close to your closing date. By having almost no time, you lose negotiating clout.

Also, I like to think that your Realtor has explained to you, and the buyer’s Realtor has explained to him, that the items that should be listed on the objection form are either hidden from view items (i.e. big stain or mark under a large area rug) or health and safety issues. Health and safety issues can be high radon readings, faulty and dangerous heating systems, just to name a few. What should not be included in the objections are cosmetic items that were plainly visible when the offer was made, nor requests to make an older home new.

This objection section of the contract is not intended to be a price adjustment opportunity for the buyer. The buyer and seller are to act in good faith to honestly attempt to close the contract as written. At this point in your process, your Realtor should be able to help you counter the objection requests for money or repairs with something reasonable that would be an acceptable compromise on both sides.

Remember, the buyer usually does not want to be an inspection casualty either, as they have made plans and spent money as well. If you took the time to choose the best Realtor, you should now trust them and let them navigate you safely through this mine field to financial and personal safety and a successful closing. Best of luck.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 and

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