Negotiating the Inspection Repairs that Matter Most

There’s a lot on the line when purchasing a home.

It’s a huge investment – often the largest in a buyer’s portfolio – and requires ongoing time, money and effort to maintain.

So, when a home inspection report comes back with a long list of imperfections, it’s no wonder why buyers – wanting to protect their investment – want those imperfections, well, perfected.

But no home is perfect.

While their degree of severity may differ, defects are common in virtually any resale home you’ll find on the market.

This is important to keep in mind when reviewing an inspection report and negotiating repairs. The goal isn’t to perfect the home, but rather to remedy the defects impacting the short and long-term health of the buyer’s investment.

How to determine which repairs matter most.

What is the hill you’re willing to die on?

Ok, that’s a bit “doom and gloom”; when repairs are requested during due diligence, both sides will typically work together toward a solution.

Still, the deal is on the line, so you want to be clear on what repairs are worth negotiating – and which ones are just part and parcel of owning a resale home.

If you’re not clear on this, don’t be afraid to ask your inspector for specific details. For example:

  • If left untreated, will that crack in the foundation lead to structural issues?
  • What is the current and future impact of the water issues in the crawl space?
  • How long before that wood rot on the back deck becomes a big issue?

You got the home inspection for a reason; it’s critical to understand the potential implications of each defect. Then…

Get a repair estimate.

With time being of the essence in due diligence, you’ll want to quickly find out the cost of remediation for the defects worth fixing.

Get an estimate that is backed by contractors who will complete the work. This way, no matter which party is responsible for overseeing the repair process, pre or post-closing, everyone can be confident that the quoted amount will cover the repairs.

Negotiate with confidence.

With the right mindset, a clear understanding of which repairs are critical, and an estimate that clearly outlines the steps and costs of remediation, you’re ready to negotiate with confidence. 

By focusing on what matters most (vs asking for every single defect to be repaired), you’re demonstrating goodwill to the sellers. Your desire to fix real issues – not take them to the cleaners!

This is a negotiation climate more conducive to producing solutions that preserve the buyer’s investment and get all parties to closing with less friction.