What Role Should Home Inspection Repairs Play in a Transaction?

No home is going to have a clean inspection, but the negotiation of repairs can often delay or destroy a transaction if it’s not handled properly. Here’s my advice.

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After selling over 1,000 homes, I want to share some of my thoughts and experience regarding how we think about a home inspection when representing sellers and what to expect throughout the process. This will ensure that you aren’t disappointed, you don’t let value erode, and you don’t make a short-sided decision at the expense of long-term value.

When a buyer is doing their inspection, we don’t want to allow them to negotiate what was already visible to them when they first came to the property. In other words, your agent needs to protect you from the other party trying to negotiate extra money to paint the home or change the carpet after the inspection. If the carpet was damaged in an area that wasn't visible during the showing or the paint was, that’s a different situation. The inspection is only meant for the things that the buyer and seller don’t already know about.

"Don’t let the small stuff get in the way."

If something comes up in an inspection like a broken oven, that’s a reasonable repair for them to ask for and for you to accept. Here’s why: If you lose the deal based on that broken oven and have to go to back on the market, the next buyer is just going to ask for the same thing because you’re going to have to disclose the fact that the oven isn’t working up front.

One thing the repair process isn’t for is upgrading things that are already working. It’s also important to think about the universal value of your deal. Did you sell it at a phenomenal price or has the market moved in a positive direction since the sale and the next buyer might possibly pay more? After looking at the net value, you want to think about if the buyer will ask the same exact thing.

It might be worth it for you to fix some of the minor inspection items when it comes down to it. It could be a long list, but you might be able to get a lot of the small items fixed up for a few hundred bucks. Don’t let the small stuff get in the way.

Try to keep in mind all of this as you move through the inspection phase of a home sale. Working with an agent who can help you through the process is a smart move as well. That agent will know and understand how to position language in a way that doesn’t allow you to have value erosion beyond what’s necessary.

If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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