First Time Home Buyer Tips: How to Negotiate Repairs

3 minutes read

As discussed in one of my articles, a home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. It allows you to identify issues with the property and know if there are needed repairs that have to be done on the property.

Now, the results of a home inspection can be grounds for negotiation. That is, the buyer can ask the seller to lower down their asking price, or the price can be retained while the seller agrees to pay for the cost of repair.

But negotiations aren’t always easy. You need to satisfy the terms of both parties before any sale can proceed. If you are a buyer in the position of negotiating, the following are some handy tips you can use to entice your buyer to give you the deal.

TAKE A CASH-BACK CREDIT AT CLOSE OF ESCROW

If you are the seller who is confident of the sale, repairs could be the least of your problems, maybe not even your priority. While sellers are thinking of their life after the sale, you as a buyer, expect repairs to be made first before you move in.

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Given that this is already the order of priorities, maybe it’s better for you to take a cash-back credit at closing so you can proceed on doing the repairs yourself (via DIY or hiring a contractor). This ensures that the repairs will be done and as you expect them to be.

FACTOR IN YOUR FUTURE PLANS

If you have plans of doing some remodeling in the future, waiving some minor repairs can help you settle the negotiation faster. For example, if you plan to re-embellish the living area, or renovate the kitchen, then a little patch, scratch, or damage can be bypassed for more important items.

CHOOSE WHO TO TALK WITH

It may not be very wise to leak out your plans (or be very obvious with your likes and dislikes) during inspection. The listing agent will always report back to his or her client and make their own terms based on their party’s observations. Keeping silent about your plans or talking about it only to your agent helps you strategize on how to arrive at the best price or the best settlement set up for the needed repairs.

Be solid on your decision. Once you and the selling party has reached an agreement, honor it and do not attempt further negotiations which could offset the sale and alienate the seller. In a climate of rising mortgage interest rates with high purchase demand and low housing inventory, you’ll be lucky if you’re the only buyer interested in the property. Finding another buyer will not be much of a problem for a seller these days.

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