Once you have found that perfect home and gone under contract, one of the next steps is to get a home inspection. You and your agent will schedule a time with a licensed home inspector to go through the house, because it’s good to know if there’s anything about the home you should be concerned about.
After the home inspection is complete, the home inspector will send the buyer and their agent a full report. Together with their agent, a buyer should go through the report and decide if there are any issues that warrant negotiation.
While the report can be intimidating, the wisest course of action is not necessarily to ask for every small item on the list to be completed. A buyer should focus on the major issues that need to be addressed rather than every little cosmetic issue. When it comes to negotiating it’s better to focus on the large items so that they can be addressed. A long list of small cosmetic items leaves room for the seller to try and negotiate only the small items and forgo major repairs.
There are certain items that may become required repairs per the lender. These tend to be issues such as mold, safety violations, etc. Items such as these will be required in order for you to secure your loan. If they are an issue for your lender they will be addressed in the appraisal report as well.
Some examples of large repairs that the buyer may request are: HVAC repair or replacement, upgrading plumbing or electrical, roof repairs, etc. As a buyer, you can request anything that the home inspector addresses but sellers may not be willing to fix every item. When you submit your requests in the home inspection, your agent will also provide a copy of the report for the seller to see evidence that backs up your request.
Other than asking the seller to make the repairs, there are a couple other ways to negotiate the items that concern you. First, you can ask for a repair credit. At closing the seller credits the agreed upon amount to the buyer. This is a great option as it allows you, the buyer, to choose who does the work and that it is done right. Another similar way to negotiate is to actually negotiate the sales price, especially if there are major issues.
Keep in mind the seller does not have to agree to any of the repairs. If this is a deal breaker, there is always the option of voiding the contract and regaining your EMD because of the results of the home inspection.
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