5 Ways for Buyers to Negotiate Issues After a Home Inspection
Once you’ve found a house you love, you’ve submitted an offer, and the seller has accepted, it’s time to go through a home inspection to ensure that you get what you’re paying for. Unfortunately, your home inspection may uncover some dark secrets lurking in the attic, behind the walls, and even down to the foundation of the structure. And when you come across major issues, you’re going to have to figure out who will deal with them, taking on the burden and expense for repairs. Here are just a few negotiating tips to help ensure you get your dream home at the best price.
- Ask for a price reduction. This is the first step in the negotiating process when your home inspector uncovers issues that need to be repaired in order to make the home safe and livable. While you might not be terribly keen on tackling roof replacement or installing new wiring before you even move in, the truth is that you might be better off doing it yourself since you’re the one who will have to live with the results. This way you can ensure it is done right. Sellers already have one foot out the door. The last thing they want to do is waste time or money on repairs and renovations to the property they’re leaving behind. So ask for a price reduction that allows you to take on needed repairs.
- Do some research. If you’re going to accept the responsibility for dealing with major issues when you purchase property, you want to make sure that you know the estimated cost for repairs ahead of time so that you can ask the sellers for a reduction befitting the burden you’re taking on. There may be some back and forth, so your best bet is ask for the highest estimate knowing the seller will likely offer the lowest estimated cost. You’ll end up meeting somewhere in the middle, most likely.
- Maintain objectivity. Once you enter into the negotiating process, it’s all too easy to get hung up on little details. But unless you want to risk annoying the seller, you need to pick your battles. Minor issues like chipped tiles and other cosmetic flaws are not something that most sellers are willing to fix or give you credit for. And if you’re trying to negotiate a price reduction for major problems like roofing repair, faulty wiring, or plumbing leaks, it’s best not to aggravate the seller by nitpicking cosmetic problems that will be relatively easy and inexpensive to repair once you own the property.
- Give something, get something. If sellers are interested in a quick escrow because they’ve already put in an offer on another home, you can accommodate them – provided they’re willing to give you something in return. You can take on the burden of tackling major repairs or replacement in the home, giving them the opportunity to get into their new property post haste, so long as they offer a commensurate price reduction to cover your expense and hassle. The best negotiations leave both parties satisfied and happy with the arrangement.
- Know your limits. There are some things you’re willing to let slide. Others you’ll want to be compensated for. And then there are issues, like detecting and identifying mold growth in your home of choice, that will have you running for the hills. The inspection will tell you what’s wrong with a home. From there it’s up to you to determine what you’re willing to accept in the way of credits to deal with these problems. And knowing your limits going into the negotiating process can help to protect you from overspending, or give you the strength to leave the table if the deal doesn’t meet your minimum requirements.