The buyers are interested contingent on a home inspection. When you’re a real estate agent, this is a common scenario, and it’s also the last place you want something to go wrong. Home inspections often unearth repair issues, and the way you deal with these issues can make or break the deal. To keep the buyers interested, your client may need to do a few repairs, but too many repairs can cut into their profits. As the seller’s representative, it’s your job to balance these two issues. To get started, you may want to divide repairs into three categories: essential, cosmetic, and negotiable. Then, you can decide how to address each repair based on its category.
Essential repairs include building code violations and structural defects. Typically, banks don’t lend money to buyers if a home has these issues, and if you want to sell the home, your clients need to handle these repairs. In contrast, cosmetic repairs aren’t as important, and you may want to spell out in the contract that your client isn’t going to do these repairs. That said, if you think that you’re going to lose the sale if you don’t address these issues, they move into the negotiable category.
Negotiable repairs don’t affect the buyer’s ability to get a mortgage, but they can affect the sale. As the seller’s agent, you might jump in at this point and give your clients some advice. In a seller’s market, your clients might be able to sell their home no matter what, so you could advise them to avoid spending time and money on these repairs. In a buyer’s market, you might suggest your sellers do the repairs. If your seller prefers not to handle repairs, you could advise them to offer the buyer funds to do the repairs themselves after closing.
To make this process go even more smoothly, you may want to take action before the home inspection happens. That way, you don’t have to negotiate repair issues after the inspection. Instead, you can find out about repair issues early and help your clients decide what to do in advance. That helps you avoid surprises right before you finalize the sale.