Tips To Consider When Negotiating Repairs

You have found a house you love, made the offer, and now have your prepurchase inspection report. But what’s next, how do you take that back to the seller and negotiate either the repairs or the terms of your sales contract?

The best real estate companies in Austin will help you navigate these negotiations. However, it is always good to have an idea of what to expect. Here are some tips to help you navigate this sometimes stressful part of real estate negotiation.

Keep In Mind The Seller Is Not Obligated To Make Repairs

The very first thing to check is your attitude toward the process. Understand the seller is not obligated in any way to change the terms of the agreement or to make the repairs. Of course, if you had an inspection contingency as part of the agreement, you can always walk away at this point too. If you love the house and want to see it come to fruition, be sure to avoid the “playing hardball” tactic.

Come From a Place of Gratitude Rather Than Entitlement

One of the best ways to handle negotiations with a seller who is also experiencing stress during the process is to express gratitude. Yes, your home is probably the largest single purchase most of us will make, so it is easy to feel entitled to certain things. Keep in mind the seller likely is not trying to “pull one over” on you, but rather had no idea about most of the repairs needed until they viewed the inspection report.

Try To See The Seller’s POV

When coming to the proverbial negotiating table, keep in mind the seller’s point of view. They are moving, just like you. They have a lot of fees tied up into selling their home in Texas, and may not have the funds needed to make all the repairs needed. The more flexible you are with how to approach the negotiation, the more likely you will end with an acceptable outcome.

Consider Credits Over Repairs

One of the best negotiating tactics is to take “credits” from the seller over having them actually complete the repairs. If you wait for them to make the repairs, you may push your closing date out longer than you care to wait. Also, you and the seller may see quality differently, so it is a question of whom you want overseeing the repairs. With these credits, the repairs are left up to the buyer, but the seller often assumes some of the buyer’s closing costs to allow more cash to make the repairs.

Get a Quote From a Contractor

Before heading into any form of negotiation over repairs, be sure you have a proper quote for repairs. If you have the time, the best method is to seek quotes from three different contractors. You can then take the average of these to the negotiation as expected repair costs.

Decide What’s Important

Finally, decide what’s important for the repairs. No house is perfect, not even brand new ones, so understand you will have repairs to make over time. Look at the list from the inspection and split it into three categories: what is critical and expensive (like foundation or septic work), what is not so critical but may still be expensive, and then the little stuff you could easily do. Depending on what the report shows, use either just the critical or the critical and expensive items as your negotiation leverage.

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