Last updated on April 17th, 2024 at 06:01 am

Quick stats

  •  Over 60% of home buyers negotiate repairs with the seller before closing on a home purchase.
  • The average cost to repair major issues found during a home inspection are $3,000-$5,000.
  • 75% of home buyers go through a home inspection before purchasing a property.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone, but  addressing potential repairs before the sale is paramount

 That’s where negotiating repairs with the seller comes in.

Think of it as building a bridge: one that secures your future comfort and protects you from unforeseen troubles.

A thorough home inspection report acts as your map, revealing hidden concerns lurking beneath the surface.

The home inspection reveals a laundry list of repairs needed. The question arises: how do you negotiate these repairs with the seller? 

      • Understand the importance of negotiating home repairs with the seller after a home inspection.

      • Learn effective strategies and tips to navigate the negotiation process.


    negotiating home inspections

    Understanding the inspection report

    One of the most important steps in the home buying process is the home inspection.

    It provides buyers with an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the condition of the property before finalizing the deal.

    Don’t Skip the Fine Print:

    A thorough review of the report is non-negotiable. Treat it as your holy grail, a sacred text revealing the home’s true condition.

    Read it line by line, demystifying the technical jargon with the help of your inspector.

    Don’t shy away from asking questions; clarity is key in understanding the repairs you might be facing.

    Prioritizing the Repair Parade:

    Not all repairs are created equal.

    Some, like a malfunctioning furnace, demand immediate attention, while others, like chipped paint, can wait for a later date.

    The report will usually categorize issues based on severity and urgency.

    This is where your strategic mind comes in.

    Analyze the repair list, consider its impact on your budget and future plans, and prioritize accordingly.

    A leaking roof takes precedence over a cosmetic touch-up!

    Prioritizing Repairs

    With smart prioritization, you can transform that to-do list into a roadmap for a safe, comfortable, and valuable abode. 

    Safety First: Your Fortress Awaits

    Top priority goes to shoring up the structural integrity – the foundation, walls, and roof.

    Cracks, leaks, and faulty wiring are enemies at the gate, threatening your well-being and the castle’s very foundation.

    Addressing these issues first ensures a secure haven for you and your loved ones.

    Next, focus on potential health hazards:

    • Electrical issues: Faulty wiring, sparking outlets, and overloaded circuits pose serious fire risks. 
    • Plumbing problems: Leaky pipes, malfunctioning drains, and mold growth can compromise water quality and air hygiene. 
    • Gas leaks: Install detectors and address any gas leaks promptly for peace of mind.

    Functionality: Building a Smooth-Running Home

    Prioritize repairs that impact your daily life and comfort:

    • Heating and cooling systems: A malfunctioning furnace or leaky AC can render your home uninhabitable in extreme weather. 
    • Plumbing and electrical systems: While minor leaks and flickering lights might not be immediate dangers, they can lead to bigger problems and disrupt your daily routines. 

    Value and the Future: Investing in Your Forever Home

    Remember, every repair is an investment, not just in your present comfort, but also in your home’s future value. Consider which repairs will:

    • Boost curb appeal: A fresh coat of paint, landscaping upgrades, and fixing cosmetic blemishes can attract potential buyers down the line.
    • Increase energy efficiency: Upgrading insulation, windows, and appliances can save you money on energy bills and make your home more eco-friendly.
    • Prevent future damage: Addressing minor cracks and leaks now can prevent costly repairs and structural problems later.

    Seeking Expert Counsel

    For complex repairs or when in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult professionals.

    Contractors can assess the scope of work and provide accurate estimates, while real estate agents can offer insights into how repairs might impact your home’s market value.

    Remember, their knowledge and experience can be invaluable allies in your quest for a perfect home.

    Getting Multiple Repair Estimates

    You need to get multiple repair estimates.

    These aren’t just numbers on a page; they’re your ticket in negotiating like a champion.

    Why Multiply Your Options

    By gathering more than one estimate, you gain invaluable insights:

    • Comparative Advantage: You can compare apples to apples, identifying competitive pricing and spotting any red flags in wildly different quotes.
    • Market Knowledge: Each estimate offers a piece of the market puzzle, revealing the typical cost range for similar repairs in your area.
    • Negotiation Fuel: Armed with a range of quotes, you can confidently bargain with the seller, presenting evidence to support your repair requests.

    Estimate Accuracy

    Precise estimates are your shield against seller misunderstandings and potential seller pushback.

    When you arrive to the negotiation table armed with:

    • Detailed breakdowns of each estimate: Itemized costs, labor charges, and materials used, demonstrating transparency and seriousness.
    • Comparable market data: Showing average costs for similar repairs in your area, proving your requests are reasonable.
    • Quotes from reputable professionals: Adding weight to your claims with trusted expertise.

    Remember, knowledge is power, and accurate estimates are your secret weapon in this negotiation quest. 

    Navigating the Negotiation Maze with the Seller

    Now comes the ultimate test: negotiating with the seller to ensure a win-win situation for both parties.

    Remember, it’s not a battle, but a collaborative adventure towards securing your dream home!

    Opening the Dialogue:

    Approach the seller with openness and respect.

    A simple email or phone call to the seller’s agent expressing continued interest in the house, and mentioning the need to discuss repairs, is a great start. 

    Transparency Triumphs:

    Remember, honesty is the best policy.

    Share the inspection report with the agent and the seller and highlight the prioritized repairs with supporting estimates. 

    Quote specific sections that highlight the issues and explain why they need to be addressed. This demonstrates your expertise and builds trust in your evaluation of the repairs.

    Avoid accusations or emotional pleas; stick to facts and present your concerns logically. 

    Reasonableness Reigns Supreme:

    Don’t ask for the moon!

    Approach the negotiations with reasonable requests.

    Base your repair demands on the severity of the issues, their impact on the home’s value, and the average market costs for similar repairs.

    Remember, the seller might have their own budget limitations, so finding common ground is key.

    Solution-Oriented Superheroes:

    Instead of simply demanding repairs, offer solutions. Be prepared to suggest options like:

    • Repair credits: Request a specific amount to be deducted from the purchase price, allowing you to manage the repairs yourself.
    • Shared responsibility: Propose splitting the repair costs based on a mutually agreed-upon percentage.
    • Flexible timelines: If immediate repairs aren’t necessary, offering flexibility in the repair schedule might entice the seller.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away:

     If negotiations stall and the seller remains unreasonable, be prepared to walk away.

    Having alternative options or a pre-approved mortgage for other houses can strengthen your negotiating position.

    Communication is Key:

    Throughout the process, maintain open communication. Keep the seller informed of your progress, answer their questions clearly, and be receptive to their counteroffers. 

    Getting Seller Concessions

    So, what exactly are these  concessions?

    Well, they’re like negotiated discounts or credits offered by the seller to address the necessary repairs identified in inspection report.

    The Concession Buffet:

    The menu of potential concessions is quite diverse, offering options to suit your specific needs. 

    • Repair Credits: The seller agrees to deduct a specific amount from the purchase price, which you can then use to cover the cost of repairs yourself.
    • Escrow Accounts:  The seller deposits a certain amount, and you can tap into it to pay for approved repairs after closing. 
    • Reduced Purchase Price: Sometimes, a simple price reduction might be the best option. This can be particularly beneficial if the needed repairs are extensive or if the seller is eager for a quick sale.
    • Other Concessions: Don’t limit yourself to just repairs! Depending on the situation, you might also negotiate for upgraded appliances, closing cost credits, or even extended warranties.

    Sweetest Deal in Writing:

    Remember, anything agreed upon during negotiations should be clearly documented in writing.

    This protects both you and the seller by ensuring everyone is on the same page about the concessions and their terms.

    Getting Professional Help

    Just like hiring a seasoned guide in uncharted territory, seeking professional advice from real estate agents and attorneys can transform your experience into a triumphant conquest, securing your dream home oasis amidst the repair wilderness.

    • Present your repair requests: With tact and expertise, they’ll clearly explain the necessary repairs and their impact on the property’s value, ensuring your voice is heard clearly.
    • Draft persuasive arguments: Drawing on their negotiation prowess, they can craft compelling proposals that address your concerns while remaining fair to the seller.
    • Act as your buffer: Negotiating directly can be tense. Your agent serves as a buffer, shielding you from emotional pressure and allowing you to maintain a composed, strategic approach.

    Finalizing the Agreement

    The purchase agreement, like a meticulously crafted map, should leave no room for ambiguity. Ensure that:

    • All repairs and concessions are clearly outlined: Every detail, from specific repairs to timelines and financial responsibilities, must be crystal clear.
    • Payment schedules are specified: Whether through repair credits, escrow accounts, or price reductions,the agreement should define when and how the seller fulfills their obligations.
    • Contingencies are addressed: Include clauses that protect you in case unforeseen issues arise with the repairs.

    Final Thoughts

    Tips for negotiating home repairs with a seller after a home inspection:

    1. Be prepared to offer a compromise. Many sellers are willing to make some repairs and modifications to the property, as long as they feel that they are getting a fair deal. 

    2. Be prepared to walk away.

    If you feel that the seller is not being reasonable, it may be in your best interests to walk away. This will force the seller to come to negotiate an agreement with you, rather than forcing you to take the property off the market.

    3. Expect to have to negotiate some costs.

    Some repairs may be more expensive than the seller initially thought, and you may have to bargain for them.

    Be prepared to discuss all costs associated with the repairs, both in absolute terms and in relation to the property.