The Homebuyer’s How-To Guide for Negotiating After the Home Inspection


Written by Mickie Davis

April 18, 2022

Buying a home is a huge commitment, the most important investment you will ever make. At Cookeville Home Inspection, we know the value of your hard-earned money, which is why we’ve compiled a how-to guide for negotiating your Tennessee home price after the home inspection.

A Seller’s Market

Real estate prices are at a record high, especially in Middle Tennessee as the demand for homes increases. I’m sure you’ve seen the license plates from all over the U.S. Low cost of living, good schools, and industry growth are bringing new faces into the area at surprising rates. Who wouldn’t want to live in this beautiful state? Unfortunately, this growth isn’t so great for homebuyers because it creates a seller’s market.

What’s a seller’s market? It means demand is high for homes, and there may not be enough quality homes to go around. As the homebuyer, you have competition and know that homes will sell fast. In a seller’s market, competition drives the price up and the seller has options and more flexibility.

Hmmm…So, what about negotiating after the home inspection in a seller’s market?

Be Strategic 

Negotiating after a home inspection in a seller’s market can be a delicate process. After all, the seller has all the cards. The seller can say “no” and pursue a contract with another buyer who won’t ask for repairs or credits. Being strategic about negotiating for repairs after your home inspection is the key to getting the home of your dreams.

Prioritize Requests

Submitting nitpicky requests is a sure-fire way for the seller to rethink the sale. Usually, your real estate agent will help identify and prioritize repairs from the home inspection report. There are a few important things to keep in mind.

What are reasonable and responsible repair/ credit requests?

·        Anything that affects the safety of the home and your family

·        Structural damage from pest infestation

·        Water damage, leaks, and mold

·        Dangerous, outdated electrical systems

·        Major plumbing issues 

·        Broken water heaters or HVAC systems

·        Unstable foundation

Stay focused on repairs that would impact the value of the home and the safety of its residents. Avoid minor requests that focus on cosmetics or cost less than $100 to repair. Another good rule of thumb—If it’s not broken, don’t ask for it.

Hot tip: Always ask for credit first as the seller is more likely to offer credit than repairs. If the seller pursues repairs, verify they are using qualified professionals. We don’t want a DIY fix on a major plumbing issue.

Do the Math

So, your future home has some issues that affect the safety and value of the home. To make the negotiation more palatable for the seller, do the homework. Research and hunt around for a general contractor. With the home inspection report in hand, put a well-researched price tag on the repairs based on your research and the quotes you have gotten from the contractors.

When you present these requests to the seller, they are more likely to pursue fixing issues or providing credits if you’ve done some of the preliminary work for them.

Providing quotes, costs, and contractors may be a lot of work to put together for you, but it could be the difference between purchasing that perfect home and walking away empty-handed.

Weigh Your Options

How important is the home to you? Where are you in the homebuying process? The downside of a seller’s market is the challenge of weighing your options when negotiating doesn’t go your way. You may want to have a game plan in case the seller walks away from negotiations. Are you willing to take on those repairs yourself at the listed price? Having a contingency plan will help the negotiation process. And now, you have some great research handy in case you decide to take on these repairs as the new homeowner. Ready to buy a home? Choose Cookeville Home Inspection. Call us today at 877-COOKEV(ille) or get a quote online.

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