Buyer Tips for Negotiating Repairs after a Home Inspection
Perfection doesn’t exist. This adage seems particularly relevant when you are a home buyer. You go through property after property but never find the perfect one. The one closest to your place of work is in a rough neighborhood, or the most beautiful property is miles away from the nearest mart.
After some time in the market, you understand that you will never find the perfect house. You start compromising on things and look for the best possible house. You find a good one and after price negotiations, got a home inspection.
How a home inspector checks and reviews a property might be very different than you do. They will show you problems you didn’t even think to look for. This often sours up the process for both home sellers and buyers, but especially for first-time home buyers.
Then you start the tedious process of negotiating home inspection issues. When you start negotiating repairs after a home inspection, you might get angry with yourself for not seeing the issues yourself. You might silently blame the home seller for not taking care of issues with their property, eventually forcing you to negotiate repairs after the price has been agreed upon.
Don’t be. This is a natural part of buying a house and no matter how hard negotiating repairs after the inspection seems; it’s not impossible. Both the home buyer and home seller can go through the negotiation process easily if they are both understanding and flexible.
The Perspective of Home Buyer and Home Seller
What prospective home buyers should understand, before they start negotiating repairs after a home inspection, is the perspective of home sellers. A home seller is accustomed to the property. Many flaws a home inspection reveals the home seller has learned to live with.
If the inspection process shows you a lot of tiny little faults, it’s normal. Don’t think that the home seller intentionally hid them in the initial stages of the process. Also, when you are negotiating home inspection issues, understand that the home seller is leaving the property, and you are the one moving in. They will never be as driven about those repairs as you are.
On the other hand, you as a home buyer should clarify your perspective to the seller. Be reasonable and state your needs, rather than presenting your demands. Negotiating repairs after the inspection has the potential to break the deal if handled the wrong way.
This is a general rule for every negotiation. It is especially important during what could easily be the biggest financial transaction of your life. It’s important to be reasonable. Negotiating repairs after a home inspection often goes awry because home buyers get hung up on every little flaw.
That’s not how you should proceed. Even if the home inspector shows you every single problem with the property, you should classify them. There might be something that needs to be taken care of immediately before you move in. Or a problem that would cost you thousands of dollars if you get it fixed yourself.
Before negotiating home inspection issues, make a list. Then get the list of potential repairs stripped down to immediate and costly ones. A home inspection doesn’t give you the right to bully the home seller into completely revamping the property.
Ask for Credit Instead of Repairs
Once you have the list of all the necessary problems and are about to start negotiating repairs after the inspection, you have two options. You can either ask the home seller to make the repairs themselves. Or you both can agree on an amount that will be set aside for home repairs, during the final payment.
Let’s make something very clear; it’s risky and a bit south of the moral compass to use a home inspection as a price renegotiation ticket. As a home buyer, you agree to a price only after deciding on the property. Negotiating home inspection issues is very different from renegotiating the price you agreed to pay because.
Both the home buyer and seller deciding on an amount to be retained from the final payment for the necessary repairs is different. You will both agree on that amount after seeing the problems and deciding on a fair estimate it would take to fix them.
It is also better than negotiating repairs after a home inspection. Because the home seller will never be as invested in those repairs as you, the one moving in will be.
It is especially desirable when neither party has enough cash to go through with the repairs before the deal closes.
Be Smart in Demanding Repairs
If the home seller does not agree to a cut in the price of the house for repairs, be careful in Negotiating home inspection issues. Giving a list of many small issues mixed with a few big ones is a mistake. If your list had thirty items, and the home seller did twenty-nine of those but didn’t get the heating system fix, the negotiations didn’t go in your favor.
Try only negotiating repairs after the inspection of items that would potentially cost too much for you to repair.
Weigh your Options
Negotiating repairs after the inspection will go successfully only if both parties are ready to compromise. If the house needs serious repairs and the home seller is not ready to budge, it might be better to move away from the property.
On the other hand, if you walk away from a great property because the thousand-dollar heater wasn’t replaced. And settled for a property which is an hour and a half drive from work, did you really make the right decision. Understanding that a property is much more than a structure is important.
Most home buyers find the concept hard to grasp that a home seller is not obligated to sell them the house as “new”. It is important to be reasonable and understanding about the issues that come up in a home inspection. Being firm where you know you are right is just as important.
An open mind, compromise, and taking a wider view of things can let you make a great purchase. As a home buyer, it is better to buy the right house with a few problems than the wrong house with no flaws.