A Guide About How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

Sep 19, 2022 By Susan Kelly


If you follow these seven steps, negotiating repairs after a house inspection won't be as challenging as you think. Once an offer is accepted on a home, the buyer and seller may feel like they've almost made it. Accepting an offer moves the transaction closer to closing, but a few more steps must be taken. The house inspection is a crucial stage in the process but can also reveal severe problems.

What Is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection evaluates the state of the house you plan to buy, whether it is a condo, single family home, or multi-family dwelling. It includes plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and the like, in addition to the more obvious building components like the foundation, roof, and framing. The results of your home inspection will include information about the structure and current state of the house and any potential threats to the health and safety of the inhabitants. Their report will detail the urgent maintenance tasks that need to be completed immediately and the longer-term maintenance concerns that should be considered.

Major Issues Commonly Found During Home Inspections

During real estate deals, home inspections can discover just about anything. So that you aren't stuck with expensive repairs after you acquire the house, it is in your best interest to discuss the following concerns with the seller. Your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are crucial to your comfort, and if it breaks down, you might be looking at a bill of $5,000 to $10,000. When it comes to plumbing, a home inspector may discover anything from leaky faucets to a dangerous cross-connection that could taint your drinking water. Bad plumbing can cause minor flooding or the growth of mould, and if you don't take care of it, your homeowner's insurance may not pay for any damage that results.


Review the report with your real estate agent

Send your real estate agent a copy of the home inspector's report as soon as you receive it. A qualified broker will know this field and advise you on what concessions or fixes you should request. Additionally, they should have a solid understanding of what the seller is willing to do to close the deal.

Prioritize repairs by cost and severity

Small and significant problems alike can be found in a home inspection report. Minor issues should not be ignored to fix substantial problems like defective wiring or a leaking roof. Create a list of the issues that must be resolved to your satisfaction, or you will withdraw from the transaction. Create a second list of the things you'd prefer to have taken care of but can live without or fix yourself.

Think long term

It's not worth debating whether to replace an old dishwasher or fix some crooked cabinets if you plan a kitchen remodel in the next five years. Even though every buyer hopes their new house will still have that "new construction" feel upon arrival, problems are expected in any property. Make preparations to deal with it for a while until you get around to fixing it if doing so is something you intend to do soon.

Ask For A Price Reduction

If you ask for a discount after closing, you'll be able to have a full say over when and how the job gets done. The vendor can avoid spending a lot of time arranging for the maintenance to be done. You'll have to pay out of pocket for the maintenance, which is a drawback. The home may be cheaper, but the repair costs will still come out of your pocket. One typical arrangement involves having the seller cover all or a portion of the buyer's closing costs. You can save up that way for the necessary repairs.

Asking for a home warranty

If the home includes older appliances that aren't quite broken but could be any day, many buyers will ask the seller to pay for a home warranty to protect them during the first year of ownership. Most of the equipment and systems in a home are covered by a home warranty. This includes the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Garages, roof issues unrelated to plumbing, and septic systems are not included. Any considerable demands that a house warranty could cover should prompt you to get one from the seller.


It's not uncommon for buyers to be surprised to learn that a house inspection doesn't result in any required repairs. While you have the right to conduct a house inspection in most states in the United States, you may not necessarily make any substantial revisions to a contract based on the results of that inspection. This is because "buyer beware" is virtually the rule in real estate law.

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