How to Handle Inspection Repairs
Putting an offer on a new home and getting it accepted is an exciting time for any home buyer. Before you get your keys, you need to take one of the most important steps in the home buying process: home inspection repairs.
This is your chance to walk through the home with a professional and identify any issues with the property that you want the seller to address. Most buyers end up having to negotiate repairs after a home inspection, but consider this a good thing – it’s better to have the seller handle the necessary repairs than to be in line for them once the home buying process is complete.
Common Home Inspection Problems
How you negotiate house repairs depends on what you find during the house inspection process. Your home inspector will be your guide. During the inspection process, he will be able to alert you about anything that may be cause for negotiation.
Here are nine of the most common problems you may encounter during a home inspection:
Leaky faucets, inadequate water pressure, drainage problems.
Mold and mildew
In bathrooms, basements, and anywhere else water can collect.
The water in the basement suggests that the house may be improperly graded. This can be due to erosion, rain, and other sources of moisture that can seep into the foundation of the property.
Faulty electrical wiring
Broken outlets, open junction boxes, circuit overloads.
Missing or deteriorated shingles, missing or deteriorated flashing (the material that covers the roof joints), problems with the bricks or other materials that surround the chimney.
Cracks, chips, slopes, other types of concrete degradation.
Malfunctioning kitchen appliances, smoke and / or carbon monoxide detectors, and other appliances.
Ineffective heating and cooling
Inadequate ventilation, poor heat distribution, dirty heating or boiling systems.
Door and window issues
Stuck windows and doors, cracks, draft leaks.
Most homes will not pass a home inspection without presenting at least some problems. Most of the time, these problems will be relatively minor; otherwise, the seller probably would have known before putting the house on the market. It is important to note that not all issues warrant negotiations. When negotiating repairs after a home inspection, your goal is to resolve any major issues, especially things that could have affected your decision to buy the home or the offer you made. However, this is not an opportunity to make a wish list of requests that the seller must fulfill. Note that you can always opt out of the sale at this time, so if the issues are too overwhelming (for example, if there are problems with the foundation that will require tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs), it may be something to consider.
Negotiating Repairs After a Home Inspection
The home inspector’s job is to give you a report on all problems that are identified in the home. From there, your real estate agent will work with you to determine what is reasonable to negotiate and how to proceed. To start, you and your real estate agent will want to choose the solutions that are most important to you. You can certainly request minor fixes for things like cracked tiles or broken plugs, but be sure to voice your main concerns before relaying any requests to the seller. Once you have narrowed down your list of requests to the seller, your real estate agent will present them to the seller’s agent. There are different types of requests you can make in response to a home inspection report, including:
Ask the seller to resolve a problem before closing
This is a common request and transfers responsibility for repairs to the seller. It’s generally pretty easy to manage too, at least when it comes to minor repairs. However, keep in mind that sellers may not be motivated to pay for high-quality repairs, so you’d better take the next route.
Request price compensation
In some cases, a buyer may be in a better position to request a reduction in the sale price of the home to reflect the cost of repairs. For example, $ 10,000 off the purchase price if a buyer knows they will need to make immediate structural repairs. This is another common way of doing things, although sellers and buyers often have different ideas about what a fair price cut is for repairs. Do your research to get a good idea of what a certain solution will cost and you may be able to request an appropriate amount.
Request alternative compensation
You may choose to barter as a means of negotiating for repairs after a home inspection, for example asking the seller to drop off certain furniture or appliances that you plan to account for additional expenses related to repairs. If you wish to barter, make sure that you request those items that are valuable to you, as you will be receiving them instead of money.
Request a home warranty
Many buyers choose to ask the seller to purchase a home warranty that covers their first year of residence, especially if the home has outdated appliances that are not completely out of order, but perhaps soon. Residential warranties cover most appliances and systems in a home, including plumbing systems, electrical systems, and heating and air conditioning systems. They don’t cover things like garages, roof problems other than plumbing, and septic tanks. If you think your main needs can be met with a home warranty, it’s always worth asking the seller to provide one.
The negotiation process after your home inspection can be a difficult time for buyers and sellers. Nobody wants the sale to fail, so it is important to approach the negotiation process with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. You should never give up on something really important, especially if it is something the seller must have known before listing the house and therefore had to disclose it, but you don’t want to be unreasonable either. Here are some additional tips you can use when negotiating:
Don’t make assumptions
As a general rule of thumb, don’t go into negotiations assuming you’ll get everything you want. While you can certainly do this, there is always the possibility that the seller is unwilling to accommodate requests. Know exactly who your obstacles are so if you don’t get what you ask for, you know when to go.
Think long term
If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen in the next five years, it’s probably not worth going back and forth with an outdated dishwasher or fancy cabinets. While all buyers would like their home to feel like new construction when they move in, some problems are to be expected. If this is something you plan to deal with in the near future anyway, just plan on living with it for a while until you do. Most of the time, the home inspection and subsequent negotiations go smoothly. Rely on the expertise of your realtor to guide you through the process and keep an eye on the prize – finally being able to move into your new home.
Other Tips and Suggestions
The inspection/repair period is when most bad deals end. Emotions, time pressure, cash, and a lot of other factors can contribute to compromising an agreement. To increase your chances of your contract being closed, keep the following tips in mind:
You are not buying a new house
If you are buying a house that was built in 1995, you must realize that you are buying something that was built 25 years ago! If you expect this to be new, you will be deeply disappointed.
Stick to the big stuff
In light of that note above, don’t ask for small corrections. If you seem petty and stingy, you may ruin your negotiating power on larger repairs. If it’s something you can inexpensively fix with some items from Home Depot, don’t bother asking for a repair.
It all depends on how you ask
Sometimes it all depends on how you convey your requests. If you are kind and understanding, you will likely find reciprocity. Know your rights Discuss your rights with your agent and understand your options. When can you leave / not leave? When do you lose your escrow money? Treat these issues early so that you can make an informed decision.
Buy and Sell With Falaya
At Falaya, it’s our mission to represent our buyers and sellers in a manner that makes them feel supported, cared for, and protected. If you’re looking for an experienced agent who will have your back throughout the process of home buying or inspection repairs, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!