Negotiating Repairs? Leave Out the Fluff!

You’ve found the Wilmington area home you want to buy. You made an offer and it was accepted. Now, you’re in the Due Diligence Period and just had the home inspected. It’s time to negotiate repairs! This is one of the numerous hurdles a buyer and seller need to overcome to make it to the closing table. The seller wants to make as much money off the sale as possible and you, the buyer, want as perfect a home as possible. Let’s face it, no one wants a bunch of issues after move-in, but you both need to work together to find that happy middle spot. If not, one of you will be terminating the contract. So, what’s the best approach for negotiating? Leave out the fluff!

When a real estate agent lists a home for sale, they look at recently sold homes and currently listed homes that are comparable to the subject property. They then price the home according to the condition and features or, at least, suggest a price to the home owner who then has the final say. When a buyer places an offer on a home, it is implied they have taken into consideration the current condition of the property and have decided that all improvements they would need or like to do fit into their budget. Home inspections are intended to find unknown issues, those that will add onto the budget you, as the buyer, have already calculated. The repair request then addresses these issues and allows you to negotiate getting them fixed.

Too often, buyers decide that the repair request is their opportunity to ask for cosmetic fixes e.g. fresh interior paint, updated hardware, new hardwood floors to replace carpet, etc. These changes have no effect on the structure or functionality of the home’s systems. They’re fluff, a filler. While “fluff” implies light and downy, these items can weigh down your negotiations and potentially break the contract. So, cut out the fluff!

When you receive the home inspection report, each system and area of the home will be outlined with pictures and details explaining concerns. Look for the biggest, most important issues. Your real estate agent can advise you on what’s probably best to take care of now and what to address later on after you purchase the home. Be aware, your agent is NOT a general contractor, neither is the inspector. That’s why the home inspection will always tell you to have issues checked out by a licensed professional. However, an experienced agent can point you in the right direction for getting the most important items taken care of and refer you to some reputable professionals.

If you have any questions about the buying process, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’re happy to help!

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About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.