In 30 years of home inspections in the Chesterfield, Ballwin, Eureka, Hazelwood, and surrounding areas, we’ve seen it all when it comes to houses. We pride ourselves in being thorough so we take great care to inspect all the major systems and structures of your potential property, and we always make sure to report our findings accurately and clearly. After all, you’re making a big investment, and we want you to have the best information possible before you buy.
Once you’ve had a chance to review your home inspection report, you may need to have negotiations with the seller. This is one of the great values of having an experienced Real Estate professional by your side. These negotiations can go one of four ways: a seller will pay for some repairs, offer a credit for the repair, the buyer will accept the home as-is or walk away from the deal. A skilled real estate agent will help you decide how and what to negotiate for. Here’s what you need to know before you start your negotiations.
Pick your battles
Negotiating home repairs that will be completed by the seller before you move in can be a good move if it’s a significant problem—save the maintenance issues like caulking or loose tile repairs for after you move in. Defects that involve electricity, plumbing, or foundation are good candidates for negotiations. In the St. Louis and Chesterfield area, roof damage from hail and storms are often issues that show up in our reports.
After you receive your home inspection report, it’s tempting to ask the seller for a long list of repairs. HouseMaster’s Express Report includes a feature that allows a buyer or agent to create a list of repair requests based on the report summary. This list can be easily shared with the listing agent, attorney, or other relevant party. Leverage the expertise of your agent to determine which repairs are worth asking for. Since sellers are on their way out of a home, they likely won’t be eager to check off everything on the to-do list, and they might move on to a buyer that’s willing to finish a deal with fewer repairs.
However, if you do ask a seller to complete a repair list before move-in, realize that you won’t have control over the quality of the work. A seller, wanting to save as much money as possible, may choose the easiest and least-expensive way to complete a repair.
Bargain for savings
If you want more control over your repairs, you may want to negotiate for a credit or additional discount on the home price.
With HouseMaster’s repair list generator you can select the issues that most concern you and provide the seller with an easy-to-interpret document for the purpose of negotiations. Get two or three bids from reputable, qualified contractors who are licensed in their field to further streamline the negotiation process and ensure the repair credit you get will actually cover the costs. By getting a credit for repairs, you’ll be sure the right person is doing the right job, and you’ll have a bid to start your negotiations.
HouseMaster’s soon-to-be-released Home Repair Estimator allows buyers to find localized repair estimates on common repairs, instantly streamlining the negotiation process even further. The Home Repair Estimator will be available through the customer’s HouseMaster Cloud account. This is another valuable resource from HouseMaster.
Know the market
Realtors who have mastered the art of negotiation are worth their weight in gold. They can help you understand the current market and work with the seller or the seller’s agent to get the maximum value out of a repair or credit. In a seller’s market, it’s common for sellers to refuse any repairs or credits that aren’t required and wait for a buyer that is willing to accept the home as-is. And, in some cases, that may be your only option, but armed with a detailed home inspection report, even then, you will have the confidence you have considered any needed repairs.
Remember, successful negotiations begin with a thorough, accurate home inspection performed by an experienced home inspector.