So you’ve received an offer, it looks like the sale will go through, and now you’re nervously waiting for the inspection results. That nervousness, of course, stems from the fact that a real estate transaction is never truly finalized till money changes hands and all the dotted lines are signed. So when that inspection comes back with several problems noted and the buyer begins demanding repairs, what do you do? That’s easy really. You just follow these 6 tips for negotiating repair costs with the prospective buyers of your house in Santa Barbara.
1. Help Buyers Understand the Situation
Many times, buyers have unrealistic expectations for a house, and they don’t really understand the purpose of the inspection. So clearing up these matters can be a big help when negotiating repair costs for your Santa Barbara house.
More often than you think, buyers expect a home to be in pristine condition – just like never-lived-in, brand-new construction. But that’s just not realistic. The fact of the matter is that all houses have some problems.
“A buyer however that expects a home to be delivered like it is new construction is not getting proper guidance from their buyer’s agent,” according to one top agent. “You would not believe how often I get a punch list after a home inspection for some of the most benign things. . . . a buyer who is under the pretense that a home inspection is for the purpose of creating a long punch list that will be remedied by the seller is setting themselves up for a contentious sale.”
In addition, many buyers aren’t really aware of the true purpose of an inspection. “The purpose of a home inspection is to find significant defects that would cause a buyer not to want to move forward with the transaction or at the very least have these items repaired.” It is not to find every tiny flaw that a buyer can use for additional negotiating leverage.
So the trick here is to educate prospective buyers a little so that they will be more tractable when it comes to negotiations. Your agent can be a valuable asset in this case. To discover more, just call (805) 886-7134.
2. Go for Inspection Credits Rather Than Repairs
Typically, it’s better for sellers when negotiating repair costs with prospective buyers in Santa Barbara to go for inspection credits rather than actual repairs. A closing cost credit or price reduction will ultimately be easier to manage than repairing, say, the HVAC system or roof.
One expert explains: “Negotiatinghome inspection issues is sometimes not that easy, but this is what you should be shooting for as a seller. There is just too much stress and uncertainty in putting yourself on the line for repair work if you can avoid it. The buyer is likely to be extremely picky about the quality of the work, and you could wind up being asked for even more work if he or she is unhappy.”
In addition, repairs often wind up taking much longer than expected, and closing is delayed. Your agent can help you avoid such a situation in which delayed closing may cause you to make mortgage payments on two houses while you’re waiting to sell one and move into the other.
3. Have a Pre-listing Inspection Done
Now some of the best tactics for negotiating repair costs with the prospective buyers of your house in Santa Barbara come before the inspection. Such preliminary work can save a lot of headaches later on.
One of these things is having a pre-listing inspection done. “A pre-listing inspection will help pull together a punch list of items to prepare your home for the market and give you an overview of what a buyer’s home inspector will be looking for during an inspection. . . . You can provide the pre-listing inspection and call out all the little items that were fixed. And, if not fixed at least a home buyer is aware of the issues as well and should make their offer being aware of the issues.”
Having already fixed some of the problems turned up by the pre-listing inspection, can go a long way toward making repair-cost negotiations much smoother.
4. Be Thorough and Upfront With the Disclosure
Another similar thing you can do is to be very thorough and honest in the seller’s disclosure. Filling out the Sellers Statement of Property Condition in fine detail can help prevent any major issues on completion of the inspection.
“It is very hard,” experts explain, “for a home buyer to ask for a repair after a home inspection if the issue was known to them prior to putting in an offer. It is important to have the disclosure in the buyer’s hand before they submit an offer.”
Basically, the buyer knows about problems early on, and you have negotiating leverage.
5. Offer to Make Reasonable Repairs
And then, of course, hen negotiating repair costs with the prospective buyers of your house in Santa Barbara, you can always agree to make all reasonable repairs. This will then put you in the driver’s seat when buyers demand unreasonable repairs.
Experienced agents also say this is often “more cost-effective than negotiating a price reduction for repairs. Often a buyer will way overestimate the cost of a repair when a home seller can have the repair work done for much less than the buyer is requesting.”
6. Let Your Agent Handle the Negotiations
Ultimately, your best bet when negotiating repair costs with Santa Barbara buyers is to let your agent handle those negotiations. Your real estate agent has the experience, training, and expertise to handle negotiations much more skillfully than you can (though she will consult with you every step of the way). To find out how to negotiate repair costs without coming out on the short end of the stick, talk to one of our experienced agents. Send us a message or give us a call today at (805) 886-7134.