How Buyers Can Ask For Credit or Repairs When Negotiating A Real Estate Contract
In most cases, after a home inspection and issues are detected, buyers take this opportunity to ask for a seller's credit, or lower purchase price. A seller's credit is mostly used to cover major issues that need repairs, such as a new roof or any other major issue. For minor issues, the buyer can demand a repair or ask for a price reduction.
In most purchase contracts, the buyer includes a contingency that allows them to back out of the contract after detecting major issues during a home inspection. Several factors can influence a buyer's decision after such detection including the terms of the contracts, the type of repairs needed, or the willingness of the seller to negotiate.
There are several options available to a buyer after deficiencies come up in a home inspection.
If the faults are major, the buyer might choose to back out of the deal entirely or get the seller's credit towards closing costs. In case of more minor faults, the buyer can ask the seller to make the repairs themselves or to lower the purchase price of the house. Finally, a buyer might choose to go on with the deal, ignoring all faults though this is in very rare cases.
In most cases, getting repair credits is the best option for both parties. Since most sellers d not wish to waste time making repairs, and buyers will want to ensure the repairs are properly done, it is more convenient for the buyer to demand repair credits from the seller. To negotiate for credit repairs, it is necessary to contact a contractor or professional for an estimate on how much the repairs will cost; if you have a real estate agent, then this should be handled by the agent. You should get a copy of the home inspection report to use as leverage to aid your negotiations with the seller.
Sellers generally won't be willing to negotiate in issues visible before you made an offer on the house, and before the inspection report. Sellers will most likely be willing to negotiate on major issues in the house such as a leaky roof, fire hazards, a cracked foundation, shaky walls, or other issues that come with high repair costs. This is in their interest since lenders won't be willing to pay buyers money on such houses. Issues that are less important, and which do not affect the general fortitude of the building might be less likely to be negotiated unless the seller desperately needs to sell the house or there is little competition. Before negotiations, buyers need to consider the size and cost of repairs, their budget, how long the house has been on the market, the history of the house, their desire for a house, and their plans for the house.
Finally, it is important to note that the sellers are not obligated to make repairs. No house is perfect and each house has its defects, so buyers should be more flexible in their negotiations with buyers. Buyers should not attack sellers with the anger of the discovery of the house's faults, it might be a surprise to the seller also, or they might lack funds for such repairs, so buyers should be diplomatic in their negotiations.