Congratulations on finding your dream house! Before you close the deal, there’s one more thing that you need to ask for – a home inspection. This is a great idea for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can ensure that they are getting a fair deal, and sellers can avoid any legal trouble down the road in case of any unfortunate events.
A home inspection identifies any potential issues and repairs that may be needed. After the inspection, both parties can discuss who will pay for and complete any necessary work. If there are major structural issues, negotiations can become a bit complicated and heated. But don’t worry, having an expert real estate attorney like the 23 Legal team on your side can help! We can assist with identifying needed repairs, re-negotiating the terms for you, and securing all your legal rights.
While your attorney handles the technical work, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that can arise after a home inspection, what usually happens during these negotiations, and how to tackle any complexities. There’s a lot involved, hence why we discourage clients from taking these situations on themselves. When there’s so much at stake, you should trust a reputable real estate attorney like Ben Weaver to help you negotiate repairs.
In this blog, we will brief you about post-inspection negotiations and make sure that you are well informed. Let’s dive in!
Common Issues Found During Home Inspections
Here are some of the most common issues sellers and buyers run into during home inspections:
- Structural issues – issues with the basement, extensions, etc.
- Electrical systems – faulty wiring, improper and frayed wiring, etc.
- Plumbing systems – leaky pipes, water damage, sewer seepage problems
- HVAC and refrigeration systems – faulty water heaters, radiators, and cooling systems.
- Exterior issues – broken gutters, falling window seals, broken doors and windows, etc.
- Interior issues – water seepage on the walls, lead paint, mold, and allergens.
- Pests – vermin, termites, bed bugs, etc.
- Roofing – leaky roofs, missing shingles, hazardous chimneys, etc.
Now that we’ve identified what you can expect, let’s discuss tips for successfully negotiating home repairs!
7 Tips for Negotiating Repairs After Your Home Inspection
1. Identify Important Repairs and Categorize
It is likely that all homes will have issues that need to be fixed before you move in. Once you receive a list of issues from the home inspection team, it’s important to identify which ones are the most urgent and require immediate attention. This includes the biggest problems that will be expensive to fix, issues that may not be major but may still be costly, and smaller repairs that can be delayed and are not as expensive. Often buyers get carried away with minor defects and lose sight of the major problems at hand. This can cause more damage and problems down the line for you.
2. Get Quotes for Repairs
Inspectors provide home inspection reports, but they do not estimate how much it will cost to fix everything. You will need to consult contractors and obtain quotes for the total repair costs. You can connect with multiple contractors to determine what they will charge you. Your real estate attorney will also be able to connect you to experienced contractors and get you estimates of repair costs.
3. Receiving Money or Repairs
The next step should be to identify who will be responsible for the repairs. Will the buyers be taking on repairs alone? Will the seller offer to handle the repairs, or will you split the costs? We have seen all three cases occur. If you choose to split, the next step is to negotiate what you want the seller to do. Remember to be courteous and respectful, even when negotiations get heated. Your attorney will advise you on what to leave to the seller and deal with the sellers and attorneys to get you the best deal.
4. Understand the Seller’s Obligations and Perspective
If the seller chooses to take on the repairs or split the cost with you, they often have two options: they can either take on the repairs themselves or offer you repair money based on the contractor’s quotes. We recommend that both buyers and sellers opt for repair money. This way, sellers don’t have to deal with buyers constantly checking on the repairs. If sellers are busy moving, they may not be able to devote enough attention to the repairs, and some work may be done half-heartedly. As a buyer, you can hire your own contractor to ensure that all repairs are conducted properly, saving you from any hassle in the future.
5. Have the Right Attitude When Asking for Repairs
While purchasing a home can be exciting, it can also be stressful and overwhelming, leading to a range of emotions. Although you may be enthusiastic about the purchase, the seller’s refusal to pay for repairs may aggravate you and even discourage you from going through with the purchase. It is important to remember that sellers are not obligated to pay for repairs and can refuse to do so. However, you should take a moment to reassess the repairs and see if you can manage them yourself. It is also important to consider the seller’s perspective, as they may have their own challenges to manage, such as insufficient funds to pay for repairs or a need to agree to some repairs in order to finalize the deal.
6. Approach Other Parties with Respect
Several buyers approach the topic of repairs aggressively, expecting sellers to undertake all of them since it’s their house. However, sellers may also be unaware of all that is wrong in the house and may be taken aback by the report. It is always a good idea to approach them calmly and respectfully so that the matter is settled amicably rather than with aggression.
7. Work With Your Real Estate Attorney
House hunting and buying/selling can be a tough process, and negotiations can be particularly grueling. To have a smooth and stress-free house-buying experience, it’s best to have an experienced and specialized real estate attorney. They can handle most of the documentation and legal matters, leaving you to manage only your own affairs. During negotiations, work closely with your attorney. Inform them of what you want and understand what is realistically possible to be managed. It’s important to understand the process and to trust your attorney to get the best deal for you.
“I would like to thank Ben Weaver and the entire team at 23 Legal, for their help throughout the entire process of purchasing a home. Ben’s knowledge and guidance were evident throughout the entire process, and his timely replies and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that everything was taken care of is truly appreciated.
I highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a reliable, professional, and knowledgeable lawyer.” – Client Testimonial
As one of the best attorneys in the Chicagoland area (and all of Illinois), Ben Weaver has an impressive track record and countless 5-star reviews that can speak for themselves! 23 Legal’s focus is always on our clients and creating the best possible outcome. If you’re looking for a seasoned professional to help you with the legalities of buying or selling a home this moving season, give us a call!
Not sure what to do after receiving the home inspection report?
Need help with negotiating home repairs?
We’re ready to be of service! Reach out today: (847) 447-6004
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.