Ohio is starting 2019 strong as home values, and the number listings also continue to rise. The number of listings added to the MLS in January was up 13.1% from last year.
If you are in the market to buy a home this year, there is one crucial step you must take. You need to have the home inspected.
But what happens after that? Negotiating after a home inspection can seem like a scary and stressful period of the home buying process. It doesn’t have to be though.
Use this guide to negotiate for the purchase of your dream home successfully.
Negotiating After a Home Inspection
You are a diligent buyer and have ordered a home inspection for the house you hope to buy. Unfortunately, it has come back with some red flags for issues that require necessary repair.
Now you need to reach out to the seller and negotiate a deal with these considerations in mind. Start your negotiations strong by “dropping the anchor.” Set the tone and starting point of negotiations by making the first offer.
1. Ask for the Money, Not the Repair
Asking for the money for the repair is more useful than asking for the seller to do the repair.
Instead, of getting the repair, the money lets you be in complete control of the repair. This enables you to decide whether not to make the repair right away. You can also choose the contractor that you want to do it.
Remember, the seller wants to get rid of the home. They are no longer invested in the home. Because of this, they won’t actively care how well done the job is.
The seller is also going to look for the cheapest solution possible. This may not result in a quality repair that lasts long term.
2. Don’t Reveal Everything
It is ok to fall in love with a home and start making future plans for it. It is common for homeowners to plan additional remodel work around needed repairs discovered during the inspection. This is a smart strategy as it saves on the overall cost of the work.
However, do not tell the seller or the seller’s agent about your plans. Do not spend a lot of time measuring, planning, or picking paint samples in the home.
By doing this, you will lose negotiating power. The seller will know they have the advantage because you’ve already mentally accepted responsibility of the repairs.
Instead, the less you say, the better. Let the seller and their agent guess what your silence means. While you are at it, don’t admit any plans for DIY work either.
The seller will use this information to negotiate the cost of repair down.
3. Ignore the Cosmetic Stuff
Take a look at the list of issues and problems and separate the minor stuff. You can take care of peeling paint, window caulking, or a cracked tile. It is not worth losing on a major point to win on these minor points.
A good rule of thumb is that if it is something you can do yourself, it isn’t worth nickel and diming over. Remember, you’ve already decided you love the home, these minor details won’t change how you feel about the home.
Focus your points of negotiation on the structural or safety issues. These problems must be repaired before you agree to buy the home.
4. Remember the Home’s History
The age of the home is going to factor into negotiating for the repair. If the home is older and the damage is from expected wear and tear, it will be harder to make a case for the seller to pay you.
This is because it will be difficult to pinpoint when the damage happened, who caused it, and who is responsible for the repair. The seller will have the advantage in this situation.
However, if the home is newer, and the seller has been the only owner of the home, you have a stronger argument. In this case, there shouldn’t be a lot of wear and tear on the home. Now you have a stronger argument for having the seller pay for the repair.
5. Consider the Closing Costs
One strategy you can use during negotiations is to ask the seller to pay the closing costs. Only consider this if the necessary repairs are about equal to the closing costs. Otherwise, this may not be a good option for you.
If you know the seller doesn’t have a lot of cash on hand, this agreement can be a win-win for everyone. The seller pays for the closing costs, and you get to have extra cash for the repairs that need to be made.
6. Know When to Stop
One of the hardest skills to master in negotiations is knowing when to stop negotiating. There is a fine line between getting what you want and pushing too hard.
When you start negotiating, know what is vital and what you are willing to give in on. Remember, negotiating is about give and take.
The end goal is to buy a home, not win on every point.
7. Know When to Walk Away
Sometimes negotiations don’t progress the way that you hope they would. You can see your dream house slipping out of your fingers.
The natural reaction may be to start making compromises in your head. If it’s a seller’s market, you may feel as if you have no choice.
Do not do this. When you see that the seller isn’t willing to budge on your necessary items, then it is time to walk away. There are certain areas or damage that require you as a buyer to walk away.
Schedule a Home Inspection
When negotiating after a home inspection, you need to go in knowing what you can DIY, what is necessary, and what you can let go. That way you have a clear idea of what you need to ask for.
Remember, this isn’t about getting everything you want. Negotiations are about ensuring any dangerous or structural issues are addressed.
Schedule a home inspection today for the home you wish to buy so you can start negotiations.