Negotiating a sales contract is only one part of negotiating the real estate deal. Many times negotiating the sales price is only the start of the negotiating process. Most often there are times through a transaction that you as a buyer will need to further negotiate. One of those times is the repair process, these three tips in our article Negotiating Repairs After Your Home Inspection will assist you in that process.
Asking for a credit or having the repairs completed
Typically, once the buyers inspections are done and repair negotiations are completed the deal will be moving forward towards closing. Seller will be in a post-closing mind-set meaning they’ll be thinking of things they need to do at their next house. Thoughts of their current escrow will be secondary to what they have going on. The last thing you as a buyer will want to do is ask for a seller to do work on a home they want to get behind them. Some buyers insist on having the repairs done prior to close of escrow so the buyer doesn’t have to worry about the items when they’re ready to move-in but in this case a buyer might have to make a sacrifice to make the deal work. Most of the time it’s best to get some estimates on the items you want to have repaired and then submit a repair request to the seller asking them for a credit at close, price reduction or escrow hold-back on repairs.
Negotiating Repairs After Your Home Inspection
An escrow hold-back will allow you as the buyer to submit your estimates/invoices to the escrow company from your licensed contractor and then at the close of escrow the escrow company will hold that money from the seller on your approved items and pay the contractor to get the work done. This is often a middle ground between buyer and seller so that seller isn’t paying for repair items to be done until after closing and buyer still gets the work done. Another thought to consider is the contractor that’s hired. You as the buyer will want to get estimates from your own contractor so that you’re assured the work will be done in a manner in which you’re accustomed to. Do not let the seller hire the contractor as you may not like the work that is completed and then you’ll be in a real pickle.
Think for the future
If you’re already thinking about remodeling the home your buying then some of the items that might be an issue will be resolved in your remodel. For instance if the toilet leaks a bit at the wax ring or faucet needs tightening. If you know your bathroom will be remodeled then it’s a sure thing these items won’t be an issue for you after the remodel is completed. With that being said, you might want to concentrate on other areas that you aren’t planning on remodeling to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. Repairs can always be negotiated, refer to your agent or contact us if you have questions on Negotiating Repairs After Your Home Inspection.
Shhh, don’t spill the beans
Your future plans regarding your home are your business. Do not give the information to the other agent or seller as they might use that to their advantage. It’s not uncommon for the listing agent or seller to be present during the inspection process but please make sure to keep communication with them to a minimum. Remember whatever you say can be used against you in future negotiations and discussions. Additionally what you don’t say can also haunt you, for instance if you’re shaking your head a lot or appear to be displeased that information will likely be shared with the seller. The flip side to that is that if you are measuring spaces for furniture and discussing paint colors this might not be in your best interest either as this shows a seller you love the home and might not walk away if you’re hard-pressed with a seller counter offer on your requested repair items. Lastly, if you’re discussing a large renovation and thinking about gutting the place then that will also probably be relayed to the seller. If that happens you can forget about asking for repairs because the sellers response will likely be “why should I fix that or give you a credit, you’re tearing the place apart and it’ll be fixed in the remodel”.
In closing you’ll want to make sure your eyes are open both during the inspection and repair negotiation process. Be aware of what’s happening and what’s being said around you so you know the atmosphere. This intelligence will greatly assist you on how to position things when the times comes to ask for some items to be fixed.