Buyers September 17, 2023

How to Negotiate After a Home Inspection

Even if the house you are buying seems perfect, often a home inspection will uncover necessary repairs. As the home buyer, it’s within your right to request credits or fixes to address those issues. Here are a few tips to effectively negotiate after a home inspection.

Required Repairs

Since a lender is making a financial investment in your new home, they will require an inspection. Additionally, the lender may require certain repairs before moving forward. Sometimes, these requirements are outlined within the loan agreement. Most often, this applies to major defects that could adversely impact a home’s property value. This typically includes structural issues, water damage, pest infestations, and building code violations.

Ideally, home buyers here in Washington won’t have major surprises discovered during the home inspection. Sellers are required to provide a disclosure form outlining defects and details about the home. That said, sellers can be unaware of certain issues, which is why home inspections are still really important.

Ask For Repair Credit

If the home inspection does reveal repairs, often the best strategy is asking for repair credit. Remember, the seller is in the process of packing up and moving on. They are no longer invested in the look and quality of their old home. There is a good chance that the seller won’t approach making repairs with the same level of care and attention to detail that you will. As a result, negotiating a repair credit and lowering the sale price is a great option. This way, the seller doesn’t have to worry about the repair, and you get a better deal. Once the sale is final, you can hire contractors you trust to do the job right. New to the area? Your local real estate agent should be able to recommend someone.

Be Practical

As you review the home inspection and contemplate the repair list, think about your plans for the house. Maybe there is damage on one corner of the kitchen floor, but your plan is to replace the floor eventually. Then perhaps it’s best to forego trying to address this relatively minor issue and focus on negotiating major repairs.

While sellers in Washington State are required to disclose defects, they are not required to fix them. If a major defect is revealed during a home inspection, your lender may require having it repaired. It’s your right as the home buyer to go back to the seller and attempt to negotiate this through a repair credit or a fix-it request. Technically, the seller can refuse. If the seller says no, you will have to decide whether to make the repair yourself or whether to call off the deal.

Consult Your Local Real Estate Agent

Working with a knowledgeable local real estate agent is essential in these situations. A highly rated Windermere Poulsbo agent can guide you through the home inspection process. If the inspection reveals necessary repairs, your agent will work with you to determine which repairs are worth negotiating. They will also negotiate on your behalf. If the seller declines, your agent can help you decide the next best step. Being able to rely on an expert negotiator after a home inspection is invaluable. Any huge financial decision should be made with as much information as possible and with the support of a local, experienced advocate at your side.

For additional information regarding the home-buying process, check out the Windermere Guide to Buying a Home.