In today’s housing market, buyers have been waiving home inspections due to the high demand for homes. In waiving the inspection, they think that they’re saving money, on top of saving the time that it can take to have a thorough inspection done. Contrary to that belief, a waived home inspection can actually cost you far more in the long run.
The purpose of a home inspection is to protect the buyer from purchasing a home that may be unlivable or isn’t worth its asking price. Additionally, home inspections can be used as leverage when negotiating the purchase, especially if you know what to look for and how to leverage the inspection report properly.
What’s a Home Inspection?
Home inspections have been a long-standing, highly important step in the process of buying a home. They’ve been used to give buyers the proper information needed to decide on the purchase of a home. This information pertains to the overall condition of the house, and highlights any possible repairs that are needed, as well as whether or not the home is safe to live in.
Using the information from a home inspection can ensure that you’re not overpaying for a home that needs immediate attention or costly repairs. It also provides insight on the property’s value and if the asking price from the buyer is accurate.
Using Home Inspections to Negotiate
Very rarely does a residential home inspection, or any property inspection for that matter, come back completely clean. Minor repairs or renovations are needed on most homes that aren’t newly constructed. Knowing what repairs are needed can help you negotiate a lower price, or negotiate for repairs to be taken care of by the seller.
Review the Your Real Estate Agent
Once a home inspection has been completed, and a report has been generated, it’s crucial to review the report with your real estate agent. Your real estate agent will be able to provide guidance on what repairs should be asked for prior to purchasing the home, as well as what repairs should be asked for in the way of credits rather than physical labor. This can amount to significant savings for you, the buyer.
Think About the Big Picture, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
When negotiating the sale of a home, it’s important to know what to ask for and what to let slide. Generally speaking, you’ll want to prioritize the repair of large ticket items, and ignore any minor repairs. Chipped paint, a cracked baseboard, and other cosmetic issues can be taken care of at a later date at a very low cost. However, larger repairs like malfunctioning appliances, roof damage, and foundation issues cannot be ignored. Neither can any sort of damage or issue that relates to safety or building code violations. Those need to be taken care of promptly by the seller.
Come to Negotiations Prepared
If you’re planning on negotiating with the seller for repairs or credits related to the sale of the home, it’s important that you come to the table with facts and figures. Your first tool related to this is your home inspection report. The second tool will be quotes from contractors. When you’ve identified any damages or issues that need repair, or appliances that need replacing, have the estimated cost of repair and replacement ready so that you know exactly what you’re asking for.
Don’t talk about your plans to renovate or upgrade the living space in any way when discussing the house with the seller or their agent. This is something that can be used against you when asking for repairs to be made, or for credits to be given related to repairs. If they know that you plan to change the layout of the house, then they also know that the money that would go into the repair is money wasted on their part. They also know that you’re going to pay for upgrades and renovations regardless, so you’ll end up paying for the repair if they don’t.
When asking for repairs or credits related to the property inspection, don’t ask for too much. In reality, the seller is looking to make a profit off of their home, and will likely be receptive to reasonable requests for repairs and credits. However, if you blow an issue out of proportion, or ask for far too much for a minimal repair, they’ll be less likely to close the sale with you.
Ask For Credits
Another part of being reasonable is realizing that the seller is looking to close up shop and move past the house that they’re trying to sell. Oftentimes, repairs can take quite a bit of time, and can lengthen the selling process for them. In most cases, they’re probably ready to be out of the house just as much as you’re ready to be in it. Rather than asking for repairs after the residential home inspection, ask for credits for the work to be done. This allows them to knock the price down and keep the sale moving rather than look for contractors to make the repairs.
Home Inspections are the Most Useful Tool for Prospective Buyers
Did you know that a home inspector in Delaware County, or a home inspector in Montgomery County, PA, can make all the difference in purchasing your next home? On average, a home inspection costs around $400, but can be leveraged in to receive $5,000 or more in credits based on the issues found during the home inspection.
If you’re in need of a home inspector in Delaware County, or a home inspector in Montgomery County, look no further than ARTI Home Inspections.
David Artigliere, the owner of ARTI Home Inspections, is a highly reviewed and respected inspector in Pennsylvania. His years of expertise and experience in real estate have been brought full circle to help prospective home buyers use their home inspections to get the most out of negotiations.