The home inspection report is one of the most important documents you will receive when buying single-family homes. It basically lets you know if you are buying a home that is coming with a boatload of repair work needed. If there are repairs needed, you must decide whether you want to negotiate with the seller or back out of the purchase. If you decide to negotiate, here are a few tips to help you:
Be Smart about the Repairs
It might be tempting to demand the seller make all the repairs necessary to fix the problems uncovered in the home inspection, but you must be smart about which repairs you ask for. Although there are problems, you might have to overlook some of them and focus on the main ones to keep the purchase on track.
Instead of focusing on cosmetic problems, such as a broken light fixture, you need to negotiate on the major structural repairs. For instance, the home's foundation or heating and cooling system are major repairs you should try to get the seller to pay for.
If you unsure if you should try to negotiate with the seller about a repair, talk to your real estate agent. He or she will help you determine what is and is not worth negotiating over.
Consider Asking for a Repair Credit
If you negotiate with the seller to have the repair done before closing, he or she is obligated to ensure the repair work is done right. Although this seems reasonable, it can sometimes be a turnoff to the seller. He or she might not want the responsibility of overseeing repairs.
Instead of walking away from the purchase, you could ask for a repair credit. The repair credit gives you the funds you need to get problems fixed and takes the burden of overseeing the repairs off of the seller.
If you do opt for the repair credit, you want to get an estimate for the work that must be done. If not, the credit might not be enough to cover all or most of the costs. You will then have to pay the overages out of your own pocket.
Negotiating with the seller can be tricky. At any time, the negotiations could fall through and you could lose out on the home you want to buy. To avoid this, make sure you are working closely with your real estate agent.