Negotiating Home Inspection Repairs

You and your Real Estate Agent (me) will decide what repairs to ask the seller to make.  Or, you can ask the seller to give you a dollar amount credit instead of making repairs.  Whether the seller will do either of these things depends on who the seller is and their level of motivation.

Negotiating repairs can be harder than offer price since both buyer & seller feel they’ve already given as much as they can.

If the home is owned by a normal seller, you’re more likely to get them to agree to some repairs.  If the seller is a bank or a “short sale,” the likelihood of getting repairs paid for is very low.  Banks generally won’t pay for obvious things like cosmetic repairs, broken windows, or most anything you can easily see by walking around the property.  However, if major repairs such as a dead furnace or leaking roof (that looked fine prior to inspection) are discovered, they are more likely to pay for these to be repaired or replaced.

Getting a credit instead of repairs completed can be risky because repair costs may end up higher than estimated!

The thing to remember is that you can ask for anything you want.  Everything in real estate is negotiable.  The answer may be “No”, but you can ask.

A good rule of thumb is to ask a seller to do repairs that would require hiring a professional, and not asking for repairs that you can do yourself.  Include photos and a description of the the problem areas (from your inspection report) to support your requests.  Also, be sure to tell the seller what repairs you are not asking for so they see you’re being reasonable and not expecting a brand new house (unless of course it is a brand new house!)

The seller is not required to do any repairs, but you have the right to cancel the sale if they refuse.