You found your dream Basking Ridge home. After putting in an offer, you hire a home inspector to check out the place. They find a few issues that need immediate attention. These problems may cost several thousand dollars to fix. Can you go back to the seller and start negotiating repairs into the home sale equation even after an official offer was already made? Short answer? Yes. Follow these tips to make your negotiations a little more powerful.
Negotiating Repairs in a Home Sale
When negotiating repairs, stay away from cosmetic issues. A bad paint job, ugly carpet, and overgrown landscaping are easy fixes for a homeowner. On the other hand, structural problems, poor insulation or electrical issues usually require professional help. Come to the table with these major problems instead of a laundry list of little things and you’ll be more successful with your requests.
What Repairs are Sellers Required to Make?
Sellers aren’t required by law to fix every last item on your list. However, they are required to fix any problems arising from water leaks (water damage, wet basement, moldy walls). They also must legally fix anything that violates local safety codes. Your home inspector can point these out in their report. If you have any questions, ask them.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
With the inspector’s report in hand, point out the major issues you want the seller to take care of. Your negotiation tactics appear much stronger when you have facts to back up your claims rather than telling the seller what “looks like” a problem. Go over your list of repairs with your agent before presenting them to the seller.
Do Your Homework
If left up to the seller, they are most likely going to fix a problem as cheaply as possible…which may not necessarily be the best thing. Make a list of the repairs needed. Then contact several contractors to get bids on the cost of repairs. Use this information to ask for a repair credit. That way, you maintain control over who takes care of your home’s problems as well as the quality of the work provided.
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