Home inspections are a normal part of the traditional home selling process, but that doesn’t make them any less stressful. What’s meant to be a straightforward step can quickly turn into a nightmare when unexpected—and often pricey—repairs are discovered, which can cause the sale to fall through.
Luckily, repairs found during your home inspection don’t have to be a deal-breaker. You just need to know how to negotiate.
Read on to learn how to negotiate after a home inspection.
What goes into a home inspection?
Home inspections are ordered by buyers during the purchasing process and performed by licensed professionals. Thorough inspections uncover potential safety hazards before parties sign off on the sale.
Inspections usually take a couple of hours, during which the inspector looks for issues with the foundation, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Homebuyers are encouraged to attend the inspection so they can ask questions and check out the home in detail.
Once complete, the home inspector will take a few days to create and send the written report.
What repairs are commonly found during home inspections?
Certain repairs are fairly common, especially in older homes. However, no home is perfect, and even newer properties can have problems like:
Roofing issues can vary in severity. Still, they’re issues that should get addressed as soon as possible. But repairing a problem with your roof, whether it’s severe hail damage or a small leak, doesn’t come cheap.
Peeling paint might not sound like a purely cosmetic issue, but it can pose a threat to the sale of your home—especially for older properties. That’s because homes built before 1978 may have lead-based paint, which is considered a safety hazard.
Broken handrails—whether inside or outside—are another hazard inspectors look for. It might seem insignificant, but with millions of injuries related to stairways reported each year, it’s something that can stop a home sale in its tracks.
Outdated electrical wiring issues include things like not having the right number of circuits, damaged wires, and poor outlet connections. These are all things that need to be up-to-date for the property to be within code.
These are just a few of the issues commonly found during home inspections, and it’s important to remember that homebuyers and banks may require repairs before closing the sale. However, if the repairs are too expensive—or too severe—the deal can fall through.
But proper negotiations may help you close the sale, even if repairs are needed.
How to negotiate after the home inspection
In general, expect homebuyers to request repairs or lower the asking price. Both scenarios will introduce negotiations, and there are three ways to approach this: make the repairs, offer a repair credit, or bartering.
Option 1: Make the repairs
The first option would be to make the repairs. If you decide to go this route, make sure you gather multiple bids for each job to find the best contractor. Once you pick a contractor, make sure the buyer agrees that the repairs are acceptable.
Lastly, you want to make sure the repairs align with local laws and building codes.
Option 2: Reduce the selling price
If you don’t want to make the repairs, you have to be willing to provide a discount. You can do this by offering repair credits off the sale price or closing costs. This will save the buyer money, allowing them to take care of the repairs on their own once the sale closes.
Option 3: Barter
If neither option works for you, try striking a deal by bartering. This means offering to leave behind things like refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other high-value appliances.
You can even go beyond appliances and barter with furniture or other items like lawnmowers or tool benches. Get creative and find out if there’s anything of value in the home that the buyer is interested in.
Avoid negotiations altogether
What if none of these negotiating tactics sound like a good fit for your situation?
Negotiating can be stressful, and it can also wind up costing you more time and money.
That may affect a traditional sale. Even if you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to getting bids, hiring contractors, and overseeing repairs, a cash offer is an excellent option.
Fortunately, there is an alternative, and that’s selling your home for cash. These types of transactions allow you to sell your home as-is and avoid making any repairs. Not only that, cash sales close quickly, and won’t get drawn out like selling it on the market.
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