4 Tips for Negotiating Home Repairs

Local real estate expert John Skulick shares 4 tips for negotiating homes repairs.

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In an ideal world, the home you purchase would be in pristine condition—perfect for move-in day.  But reality is often much different. The vast majority of homes have at least a few things wrong with them. Time, people and weather all take their toll on a home, so there is a good chance you will need to repair one or more issues to get the home in proper shape.

Fortunately, with the right approach, you should be able to get the seller to fix major issues or give you a repair credit to cover the cost. Read on to learn how to get the repairs you need after the home inspection.

4 Tips for Negotiating Home Repairs

1. Decide what repairs are most important.

Between the cosmetic issues, you find on your own and the full inspection notes of the inspector, there may be numerous issues that require repair on the home. While it can be tempting to demand that all of them be fixed, sellers are unlikely to take on the cost for every repair. It is better to choose the things that are important, and that they are likely to feel pressured to take care of, then picking repairs at random. In the end, a leaky roof is of far more concern than a leaky faucet.

2. Back up your requests with the inspection report.

It may have been obvious to you that the deck needed repairing the moment you felt the handrail wobble. But the seller is not going to take your word for it. You need evidence, which is where the inspection report comes in. The inspector is an authority on the subject and his or her statements will carry far more weight than yours. When you are asking for potentially thousands of dollars in concessions, you want to have as much backup as you can get.

3. Focus on code violations and water penetration.

When trying to determine what issues are priority #1, focus on code violations and water penetration. The lender you work with will in all likelihood require that such repairs be made before you can get your loan, making them non-negotiable. Any issues that keep you from being able to pay for the home will carry the most weight not just with you but with the seller—who wants to get the home sold now.

4. Try to get a repair credit.

It can be tempting to demand that the seller get the repairs done now so that you don’t have to worry about them after you buy the home. Many sellers will look for the cheapest repair option available, though, because they know they won’t be living there. Instead of taking the chance of shoddy repairs, ask for a repair credit. Then you can choose a contractor that you trust.

You Can Negotiate Successfully

Although it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to ask for repairs, know that it is a perfectly normal part of the process. The seller will be expecting it. As long as you are patient and clear about what you want, you can get the concessions you need. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in El Segundo give us a call at (310) 350-4240.

John Skulick Realtor
Local Expert Tip provided by El Segundo Realtor John Skulick 

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