selling your house

How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

Even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, it can be tempting to call in a pro when things get dicey. Negotiating repairs after a home inspection is rarely easy. Owners sometimes feel guilty about asking for money, and sometimes inspectors test homeowner knowledge about construction issues. These situations provide excellent opportunities for savvy, can-do homeowners to get what they deserve. can help you sell your house even if you have an underwater mortgage.

Here are tricks for successfully negotiating repairs after a home inspection:

Don’t feel like you’re being a jerk

This is an important one. When you’re asking for repairs, you may feel like you’re being a jerk. And if you’re dealing with a real estate agent, they’ll probably try to tell you that they negotiate repairs all the time. But here’s the truth: Having a house inspected is not the same thing as having a solicitor knock at your door. When you have your house inspected, it means that someone is doing their best to protect YOU from potentially making a purchase mistake. They are doing you a favor, and you should be asking for what’s fair.

Ask for your repairs in writing

Whether you’re talking with a surveyor or inspector, make sure that you’re getting a written proposal for repairs. You can use the notes from an inspection as your template, so long as it clearly states what was wrong and what the estimated cost of each fix is. If your inspector fails to write it down, then you should ask them to provide a written quote for all items on your list.

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Get a second opinion

While you’re waiting for an inspector to write up their proposal, you can also have someone else inspect your home.  If you have a handy friend or family member who’s willing to do this, that’s great. But if not, you can also hire a professional home inspector. Their job is to give their opinion on what needs to be fixed. Whether they work with your real estate agent or on a freelance basis, they should be able to help you complete that final quote.

Do your research

A lot of homeowners make this mistake: They think that they should only focus on the problems that were highlighted in their initial inspection. But you should actually look into every problem that was listed, including any potential risks cited. The more you know about what’s wrong with your home, the stronger your negotiating position becomes.