How to Negotiate Repairs After the Home Inspection

How to Negotiate Repairs After the Home Inspection

Having an offer accepted on a house you love can be an exciting time. However a real estate transaction is never complete until closing day. Sales fall through for many reasons, but many are related to issues that are found during the home inspection. It is imperative to have your eyes wide open and be prepared for how to handle issues that arise from the inspection.

Be Prepared

Buying or selling a home can be a very personal and emotional experience for both parties. It is easy to think negotiating is finished when the seller accepts the buyer’s initial offer and places the deposit in escrow. However, very few homes are in perfect condition. After the inspections, it is wise to anticipate another round of negotiating based on the report findings. Keeping this in mind can help reduce stress for everyone throughout the process.  Understanding that the deal is not dead if a new roof or HVAC is needed, and that sellers will negotiate on these items, even on an As Is contract, can help keep the situation from becoming volatile and falling apart.

Evaluating the Inspection Results

The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any major problems in the home.  These findings can deter the buyer from continuing with the sale. Unless it is new construction, do not expect the home to be perfect. However, while some items reported by the inspector will be cosmetic or insignificant, problems with the HVAC, plumbing, electric or roof are major and costly items to repair and should not be overlooked.  Most of the time, a licensed contractor in the individual fields will need to assess the condition of these areas before an informed decision can be made and a repair quote can be given .Remember, focus on the major findings of the home inspection report, if you press on insignificant issues, like a cracked tile or screen tear with a seller, you may risk a deal falling apart over items that would cost you a few hundred bucks to repair.  

Know What NOT to Share

As a buyer, it is not in your best interest to share your plans or visions with the seller. Even if you want to tear out or renovate certain areas in question, the repair of those areas should be negotiated in the contract. Circumstances change and your project could be delayed, forcing you to live with issues that you once planned to remedy, and you could have received financial credit for during the negotiation.

Negotiating Repairs or Credits

Keep in mind sellers need to receive the highest value possible and conversely, buyers are likely to be more vested in the quality of the repair work.  In addition, many repairs cannot get quoted and completed in the short closing period time. In many cases it is beneficial to negotiate a cash credit at closing to handle repairs. This allows the closing to move ahead without delay. If the seller were to choose a subpar contractor who does a poor job, the entire deal could fall apart or the buyer would be faced with difficult decisions to make in a very short period of time.

In Summary

The home buying process is a complicated one. Negotiating may not be the most pleasant experience, but at the end of the day it pays to have a through and reputable home inspection company inspect the property.  Remember to be reasonable in your expectations with the results from the home inspection. Be clear on what is important to have handled by the seller and what you are willing to handle yourself. This will allow you to have less stress negotiating repair credits and hopefully lead to a successful closing.

La Maison Home Inspections

If you need a home inspection or have any questions, we have the expertise and the experience. Call LaMaison Homes and Inspections at (941) 779-7170 today to schedule your Pre-Listing Home Inspection!

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