A man evaluating a home inspection.


You discovered your dream home and signed a contract. You’ve heard that it’s good to get a home inspection before closing on a house, but you have some questions…


Who’s responsible for setting up the home inspection? Even more, who covers the repairs? 


There are 3 main factors that determine who pays for the repairs identified in a North Carolina home inspection: 


  1. Your contract
  2. The nature of the repairs
  3. And the state law

Let’s break that down a bit. 

Your Contract

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but we’ll say it again. It’s CRUCIAL that you read your new home contract very carefully before you sign. 


When a seller and buyer draw up a contract for a home, they generally include provisions regarding the very question of who pays for home inspection repairs. The details of these contingencies can vary, as they are entirely dependent upon the agreement between the two parties. 


For example, the contract may include a provision requiring the seller to pay for the repairs up to a certain amount of money, at which point the buyer would have to shoulder the rest of the cost. 


In other cases, a major issue discovered during the home inspection may give the buyer an opportunity to back out of the signed contract without incurring a penalty. 


In highly competitive housing markets – as we’re seeing here in 2022 – buyers are often more likely to accept a less favorable contingency, possibly even agreeing to purchase a home “as is” (meaning they cannot terminate the contract even if they later discover the home needs some repair).


NOTE: Even if this is the case, buyers still need to schedule a home inspection. The report will help the buyer decide whether they can afford to move forward with the contract (or if they’d rather simply pay the penalty for backing out).

Nature of the Repairs

Home inspection reports typically outline both large and small repair needs. Although a buyer COULD ask the seller to cover the entire long list of repairs, they’d have better luck requesting payment for just a few of the most significant fixes – say, if there are major issues with the home’s foundation or piping systems. 


When making such requests, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the opposite party’s motivation. A seller who is worried about losing the buyer will be more likely to fulfill repair requests. And a buyer who doesn’t think they have a good chance of finding a better home in their budget range may deem it best to just cover the repair costs themselves.

North Carolina Law

In North Carolina, sellers have a legal obligation to either repair or disclose serious problems with their home. So, if a repair is a significant one, sellers almost always opt to pay for it.


These major issues include things like severe water damage, mold issues, termite damage, missing or broken smoke detectors, structural problems, HVAC system or wiring issues, or other state building code violations. 


Specific state laws are the ONLY things that can determine which seller-funded fixes are obligatory. If a type of repair is left unmentioned in the law, there is still room for negotiation.



Why It’s Best to Hire a REALTOR

When helping you develop a home contract, North Carolina licensed real estate agents are REQUIRED to follow all the applicable state laws. However, some of these regulations don’t necessarily apply to contracts drawn up by private parties.


Recruiting a qualified local real estate agent to help create the contract is ultimately your best chance of achieving your desired end result.


Have more questions about home inspection repairs? Or need help evaluating a sale contract?

Our agents are eager and available to answer your questions and guide you through the home-buying or -selling process. Give us a call today at 910-395-4100.