How to negotiate with a seller after an inspection

Written by kristin jennifer
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A professional home inspection offers a technical eye for unseen problems with a future home. Home buyers benefit from home inspections by requesting that the seller fix needed repairs on their home before closing the sale. Asking the seller to fix the repairs is key to saving the buyer money, as money for the repairs will have costs in addition to the home purchase price. Requesting repairs is where real negotiations come in. The seller may not be willing to fix all of the needed repairs or may balk at fixing them as a negotiating tool.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Ask your real estate agent to send the entire inspection report to the seller for comment. Ask that the seller initial to confirm review of all items on the inspection. The seller may refuse to do this as it could be construed as recognition of all problems. Consider asking the seller to comment instead.

  2. 2

    Review the seller's remarks. Decide whether to insist that all repairs be made or to focus on having several select repairs completed. If you list all repairs, be sure that you understand that negotiation means there will need to be some compromise with the seller on some repairs. Be wary of your real estate agent working against you to list all repairs. The agent's main concern is that the deal goes through. Reassure the agent if you understand that not all of these repairs will be made. Otherwise, remind yourself to stand firm.

  3. 3

    Request the specific repairs desired on the required forms. Some states have specific forms that must be completed when purchasing a house, of which a repair request addendum is one. All needed repairs listed will need to be disclosed to any future buyers should you back out of the deal.

  4. 4

    Counter any refusals or offers by the seller as suits you. Focus on obtaining major repairs or the most expensive repairs from the seller. Home warranties often will not cover defects that were known at the time of purchase, so do not expect to receive compensation for major repairs there. Minor repairs can more easily made over time.

Tips and warnings

  • The worst bargaining position for the buyer is in an attitude that this one house is the only house. Buyers win more fights when they have nothing to lose.

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