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How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

December 20th, 2013 | by: SM SOLD | Posted in : Real Estate Tips

Most prospective buyers and sellers believe that negotiating their real estate agreement is complete at the contract signing. By that time, the counteroffers have been made and there has been plenty of back and forth – so, you feel it’s safe to assume that the deal will be a breeze until its closing. However, the common reality is that the wheeling and dealing only begins with your agreement. Even in super-competitive markets, negotiations only happen once in escrow. However, the findings of a home inspection can be a great negotiating point. Here are three tips for negotiating repairs.

Request a Credit For the Work To Be Done

Sellers are on their way out in a deal. If the property is moving towards closing, they are likely packing up and making plans for their new home. The last thing they want to do is work on repairing their old home.  As a result, they will likely not want to approach the work with the same consideration that you, as the new owner,  would. If you take a cash-back credit at close of escrow, you can use that money to complete the project yourself. You will likely do a better job than the seller would.

Think “Big Picture”

If you know that you want to renovate a bathroom within a few years, then you likely won’t care about a little bit of floor damage, a leaky faucet, or any other necessary work. These things will be fixed in your home’s future renovation; however, they can still be up for negotiation. Asking the seller for a credit to fix these issues will help to offset some of your final closing costs.

Keep Your Cards Close To Your Chest

A good listing agent will always walk the property inspection with you, your agent and the inspector. Revealing your comfort level with the home or your intentions while in the presence of the listing agent could come back to haunt you in further discussion or negotiation. Any mention of future renovation that a seller hears about could mean a less likely offer of a credit. If the listing agent hears you tell the inspector that you love the home so much you don’t mind making some renovations, the agent will be sure to let the sellers know.

Keep your eyes open. You should never accept the original contract, assuming that you can negotiate more after property inspections. If the home is in a competitive market and the inspection comes back flawless, there’s no way to make home repair negotiations. If you attempt to anyway, you risk alienating the sellers and may motivate them to move on to another buyer. A real estate transaction is never a done deal until the money has been wired in and the deed transferred. Prior to signing the real estate contract, your main concern is that you may be competing with other buyers. Once you’re in escrow and doing inspections, however, it’s just you and the sellers. Don’t risk losing out on further viable negotiation opportunities.