If you’re buying a home right now, you’re entering a real estate market unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory. Coming off a seller’s market, where home sellers had the ability to command almost any price they wanted on their home, we’re now in the middle of a steep demand drop due to high mortgage rates. With fewer people buying homes right now, but just as many people trying to sell as before, most sellers are being forced to make concessions on price.
Whereas a year ago many buyers were encouraged to waive their inspection contingency, in today’s market it makes absolutely no sense to buy an un-inspected home. Buyers have more power in the transaction these days, and with record high mortgage rates, you need to perform the inspection to secure your huge investment in the property and avoid having to spend even more money on unforeseen repairs and maintenance. Plus, a thorough inspection report can be a valuable bargaining tool that ends up saving you money in repairs, closing costs and even on the total price of the home. How do you use the inspection report to negotiate? Read on, and we’ll explain.
How to use your home inspection report to negotiate price with a seller
You should always review the home inspection report with your agent. They can make recommendations on how to proceed with negotiations with the seller (and the seller’s agent) based on their knowledge of the local market and their experience in past negotiations– remember, this is what agents do for a living! They can help you come to a new price, bring it to the seller’s agent, and hash out the details while fighting for you to get the best deal.
You should note the most severe deficiencies listed in the report and cite them in your negotiations. Real estate prices may fluctuate as the market goes hot and cold and hot again, however in almost every instance a home in need of repairs cannot command the same listing price as it could if it were in great condition. Sellers are unlikely to make large concessions for only cosmetic repairs and adjustments if they aren’t severe enough to have a material effect on the home’s value. But deficiencies in the structural elements of the home, such as a sagging roof or foundation cracks, can result in dangerous living conditions if not repaired right away. Since the home is proven to be materially different from how the seller presented it to the buyer, the buyer is warranted in asking the seller to decrease their price– sometimes by tens of thousands!
How to use your home inspection report to request the seller cover repair costs
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, sellers are unwilling to budge on their listing price. But that doesn’t mean your negotiations have to end there! A common compromise is to ask the seller to cover the cost of repairs, which you will carry out when you take possession of the property. This way, the seller can keep their higher listing price and you don’t have to dip deeper into your wallet after buying the home. Inspectify inspection reports include free repair estimates, which you can easily use to calculate the total cost of repairs. This saves time trying to collect quotes, and gives you a figure to bring to the negotiating table. Your agent will organize how the seller’s payment is delivered to you after closing on the home.
How to use your home inspection report to create a punch list
Inspectify inspection reports can serve as the basis of a punch list for renovations. We recently introduced a new feature that draws on the data in your home inspection to create a scope of work for repairs, which can be shared with your contractor, plumber, builder or anyone else you’d like to invite. The feature creates a live punch list where you can track the cost and progress of all repairs, as well as add repair items that weren’t in the original inspection report, and delete projects you don’t want to do or don’t have time for right now.
See how much you can knock off the listing price of your new home after booking an inspection with Inspectify. If you already have an inspection report from Inspectify, click the Rehab tab in the report while in-app to check out our latest feature!