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Who pays for additional inspections?

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Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Who pays for additional inspections?

Dear Phyllis,

I am a loyal reader of your real estate advice. My daughter’s home is listed for sale. After the buyer did their general inspection, the general inspector and the termite company had concerns about the foundation and advised the buyer to get a foundation inspection. My daughter’s agent recommended that my daughter obtain a seismic inspection from her suggested company. My daughter paid $350 for the inspection report, which indicated that there were about six thousand dollars in recommended seismic repairs. After discussing this with her real estate agent, my daughter agreed to credit the buyer with six thousand dollars, and they are scheduled to close escrow. I am simply curious why, as the seller, my daughter should pay for the buyer’s inspection. I thought the buyer paid for their inspections. It’s not a lot of money, but who usually pays for additional inspections?


Dear Denise,

Thank you for your readership and your question! You are correct that typically, the buyer pays for additional inspections, such as a fireplace, termite, sewer, etc. However, not being privy to all of the details of your daughter’s sale, I can surmise one thing:

Over the course of more than thirty years of selling real estate, I have learned that some seismic inspectors really go to the extreme. If the buyers select a company that inflates the repair costs and then cancel escrow, they must disclose that report to any new buyer.

It seems your daughter’s real estate agent wanted to ensure she received a recommendation from a reputable company she had previously worked with. This was a smart move on her agent’s part. In my experience, I have seen estimates range from $14,000 to $80,000 for the same house. I think your daughter’s agent gave her sound real estate advice by choosing a reputable seismic company for the estimate. The $350 spent may have likely saved your daughter thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

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