You’ve picked a house, made an offer, and just found out the seller accepted it! At this point, you may be overly excited about closing on it and moving in.
Before you get too far, though, you’ll need a home inspection.
If you included a home inspection contingency in your contract, you’d have the right to negotiate if the inspector finds flaws and issues with the home.
Negotiating after the home inspection is a right you can exercise, but how do you negotiate?
Here is a guide to help you know what to do after your home inspection reveals flaws in the house you want to buy.
Ask Questions If Necessary
Before you start negotiating on the needed repairs, make sure you understand the depth of the problems. If necessary, ask questions about the issues you see listed on the report.
You can ask the inspector all kinds of questions to learn more about the problems with the property. Here are some examples of questions you might want to ask:
- What does a particular thing mean that he or she wrote on the report?
- How serious is an issue?
- Does the inspector have concerns about any of the issues?
Asking questions is the best way to find out more about the issues, and you should do this before you begin negotiating on the problems.
Additionally, did you know that you can be at the home while the inspector is evaluating it? Your real estate agent might suggest being there, mainly because this allows you to ask questions during the assessment.
You’ll learn more by being present and asking questions as the inspector works his or her way through the home.
Understand What You Can Negotiate After the Inspection
It is rare for a home inspector to find no issues in a home. Instead, inspectors generally find a lot of issues. Some may be small, while others may be more serious.
It’s wise to know what issues you can negotiate after the inspection and which ones you should ignore.
The main things to ignore are minor issues that involve routine wear and tear.
For example, if the inspector notes that the furnace filter is dirty, you can ignore asking the seller to fix it. Replacing a furnace filter is affordable and straightforward, and it’s something you can do if you buy the house.
You should ignore any simple or minor problems you find on the report, but you should address any significant issues the inspector finds. Here are some examples of problems you should address:
- Septic problems
- Faulty electrical systems
- Faulty plumbing systems
- Water damage
- Outdated furnace
- Worn-out roof
- Foundational issues
The issues listed here are serious problems that can result in costly repairs. If you discover any of these issues with the home you’re buying, you should move on to the next step.
Obtain Quotes from Contractors
When a home has major issues, you can benefit from obtaining quotes from contractors for the needed repairs. You may have to contact several contractors to acquire quotes for all the repairs the home needs, and you should.
Getting quotes for the repairs is the only way you’ll know how to negotiate on the deal. Getting quotes is also the only way you’ll know the severity of the issues and the costs of repairing them.
Determine a Method to Use for Negotiating After the Home Inspection
After getting the necessary quotes, you can determine how to proceed. You have three primary methods to choose from for negotiating on issues the inspector found.
Ask the Seller for a Credit
The first option is to ask the seller for a credit for repairs. If you have quotes from contractors, you can submit these to the seller for review. The quotes prove the costs of the needed repairs and will back up the credit you ask for.
If the total repairs are $10,000, ask the seller for a $10,000 credit. The seller may agree to it after seeing the inspection report and contractor bids.
The seller doesn’t have to agree to it, though. The seller could counter the offer you make or void the deal.
Ask the Seller to Fix the Issues
The second option you have is to ask the seller to fix the issues at his or her expense. If the seller agrees to this, you will likely have to pay the original price you agreed upon in the contract, but the seller would handle all the repairs.
If you choose this route, make sure you ask for receipts and reports from the contractors. The contractors may offer warranties on their services, and you’ll want to have access to this information if you buy the home.
Void the Contract and Choose a Different House
If the issues found during the inspection are more than you can handle, you always have the right to void the contract. Voiding the contract means that you will not buy this home. Instead, you’ll choose a different one to buy.
People tend to use this option only when a home inspection reveals severe flaws with the homes.
Contact a Home Inspection Company to Get Started
If you haven’t yet hired a home inspection company to perform an assessment of the house you want to buy, you should start by finding a company to hire.
Getting the inspection is vital, as it will tell you what issues the house has. Negotiating after the home inspection is also crucial if you want to protect yourself.
We offer home inspection services and stand by our work. If a home has flaws, we will find them. Call us today or visit our website to learn more about our services.