Negotiating Home Inspection Issues

You are purchasing a home, not a diamond, and you should not expect that it be perfect.  On the other hand (Ahem!  Sellers!) it’s important that you are realistic and be fair in recognizing when a legitimate issue arises because if your buyers walk away from the deal you still have a house with a defect that you will need to address.

Get More Detail:  Home inspectors are not specialists so if they bring up an issue that is potentially alarming or costly I always recommend that we follow-up with a specialty contractor.  For example, if there are concerns about the electrical wiring we would have an electrician take a look and let us know the extent of the problem and the cost of the repairs.

Is This a Deal Breaker?  Once you have more information you can decide if the issue is a deal breaker (like one house that was literally sinking and further inspection showed that it had dropped over a foot on one side with a cost of at least $50,000 to fix!), if it’s something you are willing to take on, or if it’s something you want to ask that the seller be responsible for (either have it repaired or issue some type of credit).

Are you being realistic?  Was the issue visible prior to inspection (old windows, for example) or was it something that was discovered after inspection (improper plumbing).  If the issue was visible before you made your offer then you may not get very far, but if it wasn’t you may have a legitimate gripe.

Get Quotes:  If there is an issue that you are looking to negotiate (or being asked to contribute towards) you will be in a stronger position if you have done your research and are prepared.  I was able to successfully negotiate a 30% reduction in a requested credit for my seller recently because the buyer was asking for a certain amount based on “my brother’s friend who is a contractor” and I had a written quote in hand.

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