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Renegotiating After a Home Inspection

What happens if the home inspection report from the dream property you recently made an offer on doesn’t turn up quite as flawless as you had hoped? You still love the home, but there are some clear issues you’ll have to fix, and you want to renegotiate the price to account for the extra finances and other resources you’ll need to devote down the line.

Big or Small Issues?

One of the first things to do is to consider how serious the issues are. Even a home built in the last five years may have issues. Little things such as missing trim or a wall that needs to be repainted don’t carry the same weight as a broken furnace or structural issues.

Consider Your Four Main Options

Typically, sellers don’t have to do anything, at least by law. They can just leave it up to you: do you still want the house even with the known issues? You have four main options:

  1. You can renegotiate to get a lower price.
  2. You can cancel the purchase agreement and find a new home.
  3. You can tell the seller you’ll only buy if he or she makes the repairs.
  4. You can do nothing and buy the home anyway, at the price you agreed to.

What is the right answer? That’s different for everyone. But this is a negotiation. Is the seller really going to lose the sale over $500 in repairs? That said, it’s often not wise to negotiate over minor issues like old appliances that still work, minor wear and tear from living in the home, or changes to the building code that make updates necessary.

The Inspection Contingency

One thing to remember is that you have a limited period of time during which you can renegotiate or ask for repairs to be made. Your initial offer was based on a walk-through. Now that you really know more about the house, you can reframe your offer. Just make sure you do it at the right time, as you’re not going to come back to the seller after that deal is final.

About the Author

John Pittman
John Pittman