After searching diligently for a house, you’ve finally found a place that seems perfect. The pricing is right, the home is in the well-connected district, and you can easily picture yourself living there for years to come.
You and your realtor put together a reasonable offer pending a home inspection. Most buyers find themselves in a tight spot after a home inspection reveals major problems with the house. It’s better for the seller to handle the repairs than for you to be on the hook for costly payments. Your negotiation strategy after a home inspection depends on the extent of repairs needed.
If they are major, you should push for repairs. If they are minor, you can choose to ignore them and handle them yourself.
Either way, we’ve rounded up 5 tips to help you negotiate home repairs with a seller.
1. Review the Home Inspection Report with Your Realtor
An experienced realtor will be able to make recommendations regarding repairs or if concessions are necessary. They will also have a good idea of the types of repairs the seller would be willing to make in order to sell the house.
2. Prioritize Repairs Based on Cost and Severity
Some repairs are urgent and must be addressed by the owner while others can be given a pass. Major issues such as a leaky roof or faulty wiring should be prioritized over minor problems. Make a list of things that you consider to be major problems – such as wiring problems and structural damage – that could make you walk away from the transaction if they aren’t repaired. Alternatively, you can also push for a lower price.
Again, your realtor will give you a good idea of things that should be fixed.
3. Request Concessions for Major Repairs
When it comes to serious problems, such as structural damage, mold, and sagging foundations, you should ask the seller to give you a concession. You can also ask for a cash credit at closing if your lender agrees.
This is when the seller refunds part of the money to you. Just make sure to get this done quickly because time is running out for both parties, so getting a price reduction to compensate for the cost of repairs may be preferred by all parties.
Pro tip: Have your realtor write into the addendum that all work should be completed by a professional in their field who is licensed and insured.
4. Analyze the Market
Your negotiations will ultimately depend on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. In case it’s the latter, you have to be careful not to push the seller too much. if the seller has received multiple offers, then you won’t have much leverage when it comes to repairs.
5. Be Reasonable in Your Demands
In most cases, you should be able to get what you want as long as you make reasonable requests for repairs. It is worth pointing out that both you and the seller want to complete the transaction as quickly as possible. Try to empathize with the seller’s situation and ask yourself if you would agree to the list of demands for repair. If your demands are not reasonable, they will refuse them altogether.
Asking the seller to make major home repairs can be a difficult process. However, both parties have an active interest in reaching an agreement. Make reasonable requests and try to get more concessions. If nothing works out, you can always back out.