If you have a home inspection contingency on your purchase contract, you have the right to counter offer with the seller after receiving the inspection report. If you see things in the report that you don’t like, you can go back to the seller and ask for either him/her to complete the repairs, give you the money to cover the repair costs, or you can walk away from the sale.
It sounds easy, but sellers aren’t always willing to negotiate. Keep reading to learn the top ways to ensure that you get what you need when negotiating.
Ask for a Closing Credit
Sellers typically aren’t in the frame of mind of fixing up the house. They are trying to part ways with it, as emotional as that may be. If you come at them asking for a large number of repairs, they may balk and cancel the transaction.
Instead, ask for a closing credit. You can then use the funds to make the repairs yourself. Even though it’s a bit of an inconvenience on your part, it ensures that the work will be done right. Sellers may do just a mediocre job just to say that they did it. If you want it done right, take the money and do it yourself. Just make sure you are reasonable in your closing credit request – don’t request too much or again, the seller may balk.
Don’t be Picky
Don’t enter a purchase transaction assuming the home will be in perfect condition. Even brand new homes have issues. The seller isn’t selling you a perfect house and they never claimed that they were. Look at the issues with open eyes. Which issues truly affect the home’s value or function? Focus on those issues. The other small issues can be handled down the road.
If you pick at the issues too much, you could end up ruining your relationship with the seller. They may just end up stalling you and not agreeing to any negotiations if you are too picky.
Renegotiate the Price of the Home
If the inspection report comes back with a lot of issues but you still want to buy the house, you can renegotiate the sales price. This is similar to asking for a closing credit. If you don’t think the seller will budge on the credits, ask for a lower selling price.
Before you do this, though, do you research. Know how much the repairs will cost you and reflect that amount in your new negotiation. You don’t have to lower the sales price dollar for dollar, though, since you know every home has issues. But, if you feel that you outbid the home based on its current condition, don’t be afraid to ask for a new selling price or utilize your inspection contingency and walk away from the sale.
Ask the Seller to do the Repairs
As a last resort, you can ask the seller to do the repairs for you. Again, judge how much you trust the seller. Is he or she going to do just an ‘okay’ job to say that the repairs are done? If that’s the case, you may not want to do this. You want the job done right.
If you want the seller to do/pay for the repairs, consider requiring that he or she hires contractors to do the job. If the seller does the repairs himself, the job may not be up to your standards. If he hires someone, though, you have a better chance of the repairs being done right.
Before you put a bid on a house, get a feel for its condition. If you work with a reputable realtor, he or she should be able to tell you what the home may need. Of course, nothing takes the place of a professional home inspection, but having an idea of what the home may need can help you bid an appropriate price for the home or prepare yourself for the intended repairs. Have a plan for how to handle the negotiations so that you aren’t blindsided when you receive the inspection.