A home inspection is a near-standard part of the home-buying process, from fixer-uppers to upgraded oceanfront homes this offers buyers peace of mind knowing that the investment they plan to make is a good one. But what happens if, as a seller, one of the prospective buyers orders a home inspection and the report comes back poorly? Take a deep breath, and read on. Here are some tips and guidelines to navigate this difficult predicament even in hot markets such as Manasquan, NJ.
Take Time to Plan
Both buyers and sellers want the home buying process to go along as quickly as possible. This means that sellers are provided with a little time to get a home inspection and deal with the results, but sometimes this is not enough. There are a handful of instances in which sellers really need to take some extra time to research the extent of the problem and hammer out a solution that is respectful of both the seller and the buyer. If the schedule only permits a few days after the inspection before moving on, the buyer may request more time to address the results. It is perfectly fair to grant a brief extension, because both parties may need some time. No one wants to feel rushed into a decision.
Investigate the Problems
At this point, there is going to be a game of sorts to figure out the most information and present ideas to the opposite side. Sellers can bet that the buyer will be researching the details on the aspects of the home that need repair, and as a seller, it may not be wise to rely on the numbers that they find. Plan to do some work independently. Talk to the inspector and get as many specifics as possible. Some inspectors are willing to make recommendations of local contractors who can do the repairs, and ask the seller agent for tips on finding a reputable company. If the home repairs are more than a couple hundred dollars, consider getting more than one estimate so as to have a sense for the average cost.
Wait to Offer Possible Solutions
A seller may be desperate to get out of their home as soon as possible and be willing to drop the price or do almost anything to keep the contract going. However, this is definitely not the message that should be sent to the buyer, and it may not even be necessary. As disheartening as the results of the home inspection may be, wait at least a short period of time to get a sense for what the buyer wants to do. Maybe the results were a shock, but the buyer might take them in stride. Start to think about what repairs could be covered or other accommodations that can be made, but let the buyer take the lead in offering solutions.
Negotiate With the Buyer
Even with the setback of a poor home inspection, sellers should be able to negotiate fairly with a buyer on the repairs. Unless the seller knew about the problems and deliberately chose not to share information about them, no foul was committed, and the negotiations can proceed if both parties are willing. Look at the buyer’s offer regarding the report, and think about it carefully. Show a willingness to go halfway, and know that neither party has to accept if the agreement isn't favorable to them.
Although some home inspections could reveal really bad news, only about 16 percent of real estate agents have had a sale ruined as a result. With these tips, sellers can hold up their end of the bargain without giving everything away.