Home inspections are a crucial part of the buying process. Not only will it give you insight into the condition of the home, but it will also inform you of any red flags you should be keeping an eye out for.
After you’ve had your potential home inspected, you may also be able to convince the seller to take care of outstanding repairs that need to be made.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about negotiating after home inspection.
Ask The Seller to Make Some of The Repairs
After your inspector has provided you with the necessary information about the home’s condition, you have the opportunity to simply ask the seller to make the repairs themselves.
While this isn’t always a request that sellers will satisfy, many are reasonable. This is especially true if there are outstanding repairs that need to be made that were a direct result of the seller’s actions or negligence.
Understand, though, that the seller isn’t responsible for making any repairs at all during your transaction. So, it’s not realistic that you don’t mentally prepare for them to decline your request.
Get a Quote for the Total Cost
After the vast majority of inspections, the inspector is unable to provide a reasonable estimate as to how much repairs will cost to complete. However, a reputable contractor will be able to give you the numbers that you need.
Fortunately, your inspector can refer you to local contractors in your area who you can rely on.
After receiving an estimate for how much all of the repairs will cost or at least the cost of the most outstanding repairs, you can approach the seller with this amount and attempt to negotiate with them what repairs they’re able to make.
In general, it’s not realistic to expect the seller to pay for minor repairs. These typically include things like small appliances, minor aesthetic issues, etc.
Be Respectful and Not Aggressive
One of the worst things you can do while approaching the seller about necessary repairs is doing so in an aggressive or disrespectful manner.
As previously mentioned, sellers are not obligated to make repairs that you find during your inspection. So, failing to start your negotiation calmly will only serve to eliminate any chance you have of the seller compromising with you.
You should also keep in mind that an inspection often reveals issues with the house’s structure that the seller wasn’t even aware of. So, they often are just as surprised to learn about major issues as you.
This is especially true with components like electrical systems and foundation, which can often have a multitude of issues that are easily overlooked by a regular person.
If They Won’t Make the Repairs, Ask for a Lower Price
If the seller is unwilling to budge from their position that they will not make any repairs, you may be able to use it as leverage when negotiating the price of the home. After all, having to complete all the repairs yourself essentially adds to the cost of buying the house.
Sellers often want to avoid making repairs because it’s a time-consuming obligation to stay in frequent contact with both a contractor and a buyer. Sellers also risk having the repairs completed and still having the buyer be dissatisfied with the status of the house.
So, many sellers are willing to compromise when it comes to the price of the home if there are outstanding repairs that need to be made. Occasionally, someone who is selling a home may even offer a credit to the buyer for them to complete the repairs on their own.
This is often in the form of a reduction in closing costs that aims to offset the cost of the repairs.
Understand What Happens If You Forego Some of the Repairs
In some scenarios, both the buyer and the seller will be unwilling to handle the home’s outstanding obligations. But, it’s important to understand the consequences of doing so.
Minor issues will likely have a negligible impact on your quality of life. This can include things like cracked tile in a bathroom, damage to an interior wall’s paint, etc.
Foundation issues, electrical problems, or complications with the home’s heating or cooling system will inevitably prove to become factors in the long run.
Even if you don’t experience any issues during the first year after you move in, this isn’t to say that these problems have simply disappeared. Electrical issues, in particular, can be potentially catastrophic, as neglected wiring problems can easily result in a house fire.
So, you should be prepared for a scenario where a seller both refuses to offer you credit or make any of the repairs on their own. Although this will add an additional cost to the purchase of the home, it will provide you with the peace of mind that there’s nothing wrong with the property.
Properly Negotiating After Home Inspection Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about negotiating after home inspection in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible.
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