After viewing homes, dealing with preapprovals, and reviewing paperwork, the last thing you or the seller want is for the home buying deal to fall through because of the results of the home inspection. As a general rule, almost every home inspection will find at least a handful of things, and no house will come back with an entirely clean bill of health. Even though there will always be something to fix, not all repairs can be expected to be the responsibility of the seller. Knowing how – and what – to negotiate after a home inspection will save you lots of time and headaches down the line, and help your negotiations with the seller go as smoothly as possible. This guide will prepare you for the negotiation process, as well as identify the most common repairs needed after a home inspection so you know what you can expect.
One thing to keep in mind that, as a buyer, your negotiation power is directly proportional to the current state of the real estate market. In a seller’s market you can expect to have less negotiating power than you would otherwise, and you will need to be more flexible in your negotiations. Before approaching the seller for repair negotiations after the home inspection, consult with your real estate agent to see if your expectations match the current state of the market.
After you’ve identified which repairs you want to negotiate with the seller, you’ll need to decide which terms you will accept. You can request that the seller take care of the necessary repairs prior to the sale, which will save you having to pay for and oversee the repairs. With this route, however, you must take into account the fact that the seller is motivated to spend as little money as possible on this repair so as to not cut into their bottom line. The fact that the seller has no interest in paying for the highest quality materials and workmanship could mean that you find yourself having to redo the repair sooner rather than later.
Another option is to request a discount on the sale price, which you can then use to fund the repairs. Of course, this also means you will need to do your own research regarding repair costs, and be responsible for overseeing the repairs. This route may be worth it if you’re willing to put in the effort and time, but make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew. On top of a move and the process of closing on a home, it may be a bit too much to take on in one go.
Finally, you have the option of a home warranty from the seller. This is a guarantee, usually for a year after the sale, that the specified repairs will be funded by the seller.