Beware-Home Inspection Becoming A Negotiation Tool

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More and more buyers (often coached by Realtors) are intentionally using the home inspection report as an opportunity to re-negotiate the transaction.

For this reason, it is a good idea to hire a Home Inspector prior to placing your home on the market. At the time of your (seller) inspection, you can address any fixable problems found, at your earliest convenience and shop around for the best price if a repair is needed. Also, you can remedy the problem to the degree of your satisfaction as long as it is in “working condition” per the FARBAR contract. Additionally, when you have an inspection in hand and the buyer’s Inspector discovers or exaggerates a “problem”, you will have written evidence contradicting his/her findings.

Because home inspections are being used more and more as a negotiation tool, it is vital in the purchase and sale agreement that you limit the inspection period to a maximum of 7 days. This way if a buyer is “unreasonable” you will have lost only a week of marketing time.

If there is a problem that entails big monetary consequences (i.e. replacement of Roof, AC, or Electrical), you the seller should NOT spend the money for a new replacement. Instead you should acquire multiple written replacement quotes, disclose the problem, and offer a credit for ½ the cost of the least expensive quote. There is no reason to provide a brand-new replacement that only benefits the buyers for the next 20 years or so!

As Realtors, we find that more often than not, at this point of the sale process, the buyer is more likely to cave on a negotiation than the seller. However, we also find that if the seller gives a token something (as opposed to nothing),  deals tend to get consummated at a much greater rate!  Depending on your (the seller) situation & motivation, it is always smart to properly evaluate the entire picture of the transaction.