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Negotiating Repairs with the Seller

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

Before we start talking about negotiating repairs, it’s important to remember that all houses have defects. Even if you buy a brand new house, it’s still not going to be perfect.

So how do you decide what’s important to address while reviewing your home inspection report? My suggestion to Buyers is to focus on health and safety issues, major components that are at the end of their useful lives (roofs, septic systems, furnaces, siding), foundation concerns, and moisture/drainage issues. When you receive the inspection report from the inspector, please take the time to sit down and read it thoroughly, noting your concerns or questions. If the inspector has concerns about large-ticket items, it may be necessary for you to hire a contractor to visit the house for further evaluation.

There are two options when approaching Sellers about repairing home deficiencies. The first option is to ask the Sellers to conduct repairs prior to closing. This is best in cases when the repairs would be required by a Lender for financing, and in cases when the task at hand is fairly straightforward and can be accomplished by any contractor. In the cases when you would like to do repairs on your own (and when it won’t interfere with Lenders approving financing), it may be best to request a reduction of the sale price or a closing cost credit to cover repairs. If this is the direction you’d prefer to move, it’s best for us to contact a contractor to give a specific bid for repairs so that we have a basis for our price adjustment request.

Remember that your inspection will be an excellent tool to create your to-do checklist of projects after you purchase the house. Be sure to keep this useful document to provide guidance on your future weekend home maintenance projects!


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