SELLERS, HERE'S WHAT TO DO IF A BUYER REQUESTS REPAIRS AFTER INSPECTION

Selling your home and moving into a new one can be an exciting life chapter. Whether you’re looking to upgrade or downsize your lifestyle, it’s always nice to get a fresh start. Selling now is especially beneficial, as listing during the winter months specifically before March, will earn you the most money! 

When you accept an offer on your home, it’s time to celebrate! However, it’s crucial to understand that even after an offer is accepted, there are still obstacles during the final stages of selling that could occur. With the guidance of your trusted REALTOR®, you can be prepared to handle anything and bring your transaction to a smooth close. A common issue that sellers should be prepared for is a buyer requesting repairs after the home inspection. So, what do you, as a seller, do in this scenario?

Understand Why Buyers Request Repairs

Before someone buys a home, a home inspection is typically done. The goal of a home inspection is to identify any issues with the home, no matter how big or small. Once the buyer knows what’s wrong with the home, they may request for the seller to cover the cost of the repair before they complete the purchase.

In addition to the repair costs, buyers often consider other factors that may influence their decision. For example, if structural concerns or safety hazards are discovered, it could impact the buyer’s ability to obtain insurance or secure favorable mortgage terms. Addressing these issues promptly not only preserves the value of the property but also ensures a smoother transaction process.

The reason for the buyer’s requested repairs depends on what’s being requested. If an inspection finds a major issue like a leaky roof or failing furnace, the value of the home goes down. Mortgage lenders will not pay more than they believe a house is worth. That means either the buyer or the seller has to fix the issue before the mortgage loan can be approved. It’s no surprise that the buyer would rather have the seller cover the cost.

How to Effectively Negotiate Repairs

Buyer-requested repairs are called requests for a reason; Sellers aren’t necessarily required to fulfill that request. However, if they choose not to, this could potentially reduce the value of their home and result in the loss of that buyer. Before you pay for buyer-requested repairs, consider your negotiation options.

Major issues that impact the function, safety, or efficiency of the home are usually worth paying for. Minor issues that are more cosmetic won’t cause the buyer to lose a mortgage loan, so don’t feel like you have to pay for everything found on the home inspection. Speak with the buyers to determine what the most important repairs on the list are.

Remember, don’t negotiate these terms alone. Your REALTOR® should be very familiar with situations like these and possess the knowledge to reach a solution that works for everyone involved. Their expertise can help you navigate the complexities of the negotiation process and ensure that your interests are protected. Trust in their guidance to achieve the best outcome and successfully close the deal.

Consider Alternative Solutions

Some sellers are simply not in a position to cover these repair costs. However, there are alternate solutions that can be discussed so that the deal can still close smoothly and on time. These options include, but are not limited to:

  • Lowering the list price of the home: This option means revisiting the initial listing price of the property to reflect the repair costs. By reducing the home price, sellers can potentially alleviate the financial burden on both parties, making the transaction more feasible and attractive to the buyers.
  • Barter with appliances or other items that would raise the overall value of the home sale: Sellers can explore the possibility of including valuable appliances or other desirable items as part of the negotiation. For example, offering to leave behind high-quality kitchen appliances or upgraded fixtures could make up for the repair expenses in the eyes of the buyers. 
  • Offer to cover the closing costs if the buyers cover the repair costs: In this scenario, the seller can negotiate to cover the closing costs from the transactions rather than the home repairs. This method is especially beneficial if the seller really needs the transaction to close on time. 

Leave it to a Professional

Trusting your real estate agent with post-inspection negotiations is truly the best thing you can do in the event that buyers request repairs. Agents possess the experience needed to recognize the difference between reasonable and excessive repair requests, ensuring that negotiations are based on market standards rather than emotions. Their expertise not only helps in securing favorable outcomes that protect the seller’s interests but also reduces the time and stress involved in navigating these complex discussions. Additionally, agents are well-versed in the legal aspects of real estate transactions, minimizing the seller’s liability and ensuring they reach the closing table stress-free. By relying on your agent during this process, you can increase the likelihood of a successful sale while safeguarding your interests.

To Conclude...

Navigating a buyer’s post-inspection repair requests can be a daunting task for sellers, but with the right approach and expert guidance, it can also be a smooth sail toward a successful sale. Whether it’s through strategic negotiations, considering alternative solutions, or relying on the expertise of a professional REALTOR®, there are multiple ways to ensure both the buyer and seller walk away happy. Remember, the goal is not just to sell your home, but to do so in a way that protects your interests along with the buyer’s needs, ultimately leading to a win-win scenario. By staying informed, open to negotiation, and proactive in addressing potential issues, you can turn the challenge of buyer-requested repairs into an opportunity to showcase your home’s true value and secure a deal that benefits everyone involved.

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