I do Home Inspections. As far as I can tell the procedures are fairly close to being the same.
When my client and broker arrive at the property I start of by telling the buyer I'm here to find the major things wrong with this home. There normally are 2 lists, the Home Inspection
Report and the Brokers Supplemental list. The HIR lists everything found wrong, the BS list is the list that you want fixed. You're the one who has to decide what is major or what you want to ask to be fixed. You need to divide this list of problems into 3 areas.
1. Cosmetic. Those items that need to be repaired but are easy to fix or items you can repair or fix yourself with little cost but require your time.
Example: The toilet seat is cracked.
2. Abnormal Repairs
. Items that require repair or replacement that effect the usability of an item or system that you would expect to be in working order but doesn't effect the safety
of the property.
Example: The toilet rocks do to rusted bolts or a bad seal.
3. Life Safety/Structural issues. Those items that do effect the safety
or structural integrity of the property. Items that would place someone's life in danger
or the structure in jeopardy.
Example: The floor under the toilet is rotted through do to a constant leak and the floor joists are rotted as well. The Roof trusses have been cut to facilitate storage
Items under list 1 are your call.
Items under list 2 are items we will discuss but will still be your call.
Items under list 3 are to be repaired and certified repaired by a qualified firm. In some cases they are deal killers. I found a leaking basement was do to an underground stream flowing below the slab and it was washing
I also tell the buyer that this property may be the love of the owners life. If you pile a bunch of little things onto a list of "required" repairs
he's probably going to walk away from you. Pic your battles wisely. The report will have everything listed that was found wrong. Decide on the items that your ok with. The wife will want a new toilet seat anyway. I can replace those bolts but it's a crappy job, let's look at the rest of the items and hold off. I'm walking if the floor isn't fixed or the trusses aren't replaced by a reputable firm and certified by a structural engineer
Once the list is compiled for the Owner you can determine if the deal is a good one or not. The Inspector should be able to tell you if the repairs are doable and the property will be out of jeopardy. However a large list of items should question the seller's motive as to why he's selling. Up front the purchase contract
should always be based on an Inspection. In the end the deal should be negotiated based on the report.
I agree with Paul about "not falling in love until after the report". I'll disagree about "It's not a time to re-cut the deal". That depends on the report, what level the "items" fall under and the original purchase price. If I was paying price "A" for an "A" boat I wouldn't still pay "A" for a "B" boat.
I'll also qualify this by saying I don't own a boat at this time. I will have a friend who owns a boat look at it with me the second trip. I'll pay for a Pro to look at it before I buy.
Paul, since I plan on being in the same waters as You... will you be my friend??
Steve in VA