The home inspection is an essential part of any real estate transaction because it gives a potential buyer a thorough understanding of the quality of the home. It can also serve as a tool for negotiations, bringing up points that may have even been unknown to the seller. There are a few ways that a thorough home inspection can help you negotiate a fair price for your new home.
Shop Around for a Good Inspector
Even before you begin negotiating, your position will be affected by the quality of your home inspector. Hiring an individual with thorough training, years of experience, and a good reputation will ensure the report you receive will be accurate and in-depth. Alternatively, hiring the wrong inspector can prevent you from discovering important defects in the home.
Time is Important
Scheduling the initial home inspection as early as possible is essential. If the inspector finds some major defect in the home, such as a damaged roof or a faulty HVAC system, you will want a professional contractor to provide you with an accurate estimate for repairing the item. Since this will influence your negotiations, you will want the additional time to go through this process.
Evaluate the Needed Repairs
You should have two repair lists, following the inspection. Some repairs may not require immediate attention or may represent only a small investment. You can take care of those items on your own as time and finances permit. However, there may be more important and urgent repairs needed, such as damage that represents safety issues or affects the habitability of the home. Those are the items you should submit to the seller to determine if he’s willing to accommodate those repairs.
Ask for a Credit at Closing
The seller may make only superficial repairs that won’t address the underlying problem. Unless you protect against this possibility with a credit at the closing request, you may still be stuck with correcting improperly done repairs. If a credit at closing isn’t possible for some reason, you should at least insist that the work is done by a certified contractor.
While you will have to accept responsibility for making minor repairs on your own, major issues with the home should be addressed by the seller. It’s up to you to ensure the work is done according to your expectations. Damage to the home may constitute grounds for lowering your offer or demanding that the seller repair the items in question. Otherwise, your dream home may soon become a financial burden.