You’ve been looking for a home in Fairfax Station for a while and finally found the perfect one. The seller accepted your offer and now it’s time to cross off the contingencies of your offer.
One of the first contingencies you will deal with is the home inspection. Once the inspection has been completed, it’s time to enter into negotiations for any necessary repairs. While your Fairfax real estate agent will handle this process, you will be a part of it indirectly.
When it’s time to negotiate after a home inspection, a few tips can help you understand what to expect.
6 Tips for Negotiating After a Completed Home Inspection
1. Set your Goals
After seeing the home inspection, it’s a good idea to set goals with your real estate agent. Of course, the hope is for a clean inspection since that would make the process much easier. However, it’s more likely there will be a few things showing up on the home inspection.
Maybe the home inspection found that the water heater is out of warranty and older. It will likely need to be replaced within the next few years. If this is the case, you might have the goal of getting a credit to cover a portion of the replacement costs.
Sometimes, the issues on the home inspection are very minor, but there are a few of them and they can add up fast. You could have a goal of trying to get the seller to offer concessions to cover half the cost or all of the cost, depending on the necessary repairs.
Clearly define your goals with your real estate agent. They can handle the actual negotiations with the seller’s agent.
2. Prioritize the Repairs
Some issues showing up on a home inspection will be more concerning than others. It’s important to look over the list and choose which issues are most important.
Your inspector should note the severity of each repair, and in some cases, how soon it needs to be handled. Take this information and choose which issues are most important to address, especially if the list is long.
3. Find a Win-Win
The goal of negotiating after a home inspection isn’t to come out the big winner. The goal is to find a deal that works for you and for the seller. When you set your goals and enter into negotiations, keep this in mind.
On the other side of the day is another person or family trying to move into a new chapter in their life, just like you. Finding a win-win situation for both you and the seller will ensure you can make a deal and both walk away happy.
4. Consider How the Offer Process Initially Went
You can gain quite a bit of knowledge about the seller and what they might be willing to do from the initial offer. If you offered a price below asking and they countered, you might be able to negotiate with them on repairs.
However, if the seller stood their ground and didn’t budge, there might not be much wiggle room on repairs. Of Couse, there might still be some wiggle room as some sellers tend to be a bit more stuck on the sales price than things, such as closing costs or paying for minor repairs.
5. Lean on Your Agent
You want to be flexible throughout the negotiating process and lean on your agent. Your Fairfax real estate agent will know what the cloak market looks like and what you can expect. They will be able to advise you on minor repairs and major issues.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away from the Deal
If something major shows up on the home inspection and the seller won’t budget, it might be time to walk away from the deal. A structural issue or extensive water damage might be something you simply don’t want to deal with.
You might love the house, but the last thing you want is a massive issue that drains your bank account after you move in. Be willing to walk away, if necessary, when negotiating after a home inspection.
The home inspection can be a make or break when buying a home. It might only show minor issues, but it could reveal a much larger issue you and the seller were unaware of.
With the advice of a good real estate agent, you should be able to negotiate after a home inspection. Just make sure you have realistic expectations and you work with the seller to find a deal you can agree upon.