Getting your offer accepted is the happy and joyous moment every buyer experiences at least once… Sometimes however, the inspection report brings along some issues that you just were not expecting, what are your options once this happens?
Disclaimer: No home is perfect, and as a realtor I can tell you that I’ve been to more than 500 inspections in my career and every single one of those properties have had issues, some minor and some major, but no home is absolutely perfect.
So you’ve received your report, and reviewed the 50-60 pages of information provided by your inspector, your palms are sweaty, your head is hurting and you feel like walking away from everything because it just all feels so overwhelming? – Step one is take a seat, put everything aside and relax. Remember that nothing is unsolvable and every problem can be fixed! After a nice cold drink and an episode of our favourite seinfeld, we recommend you call your real estate broker and here is what they should tell you.
In reality after inspection you have three options:
1. Accept the home as is, waiving the condition of inspection
2. Declare your promise to purchase null and void due to issues found in the report
3. Negotiate due to issues found in the report.
Our first two options are pretty straight forward, it is our third option and how we get there that needs a bit of explaining. Firstly we need to sit down as a team and evaluate what the issues at hand are, and how much they cost / what it takes to repair said issues and how it can be done. Once we can sum up the total cost of the repairs needed, it is much easier to figure out how important or imperative these repairs are to our purchase, right? – Good, we’re on the same page.
Advice from your local broker? Never make the seller take on any repairs (unless they are the qualified and licensed person to do it) , they will always choose the most cost effective avenue for work done, and although it is easier to have them repair something, sometimes they just won’t do it up to par or to code. Always ask for a price reduction, it is an easier and simple way to cut the price down enough for you to be able to get the work done and know that it can be taken care of once you get into the property.
Another important factor to take into consideration is which aspects of the report will actually be negotiable? – Some things in the report (i.e. loose handles, broken window mechanisms and scratched flooring) are aesthetic, or very minor. When deciding what to negotiate for, use the five hundred rule, If it’s under five hundred, it is regular wear and tear, if it costs over five hundred then we can look into it and see if it is worth negotiation.
Once you are able to quantify what needs to be done and the costs associated you can then easily decide what amount you are looking for as a price reduction, and start conversations with the real estate brokers and sellers and easily explain why you are asking for an amount, and what needs to be done in a clear and concise manner.
Pro Tip: Always inflate your amount just a little bit (i.e. you want 5,000$ off, start at 7,500) to be able to have some wiggle room, you’ll thank me later