What is the best way to negotiate with an already firm seller after the home inspection?

Asked by Sharon, Gardner, KS Fri Oct 17, 2008

The sellers want to pay very little out of pocket, we found this out when they didn't want to pay even half of the closing costs. But after the home inspection the electrical panel for the house must be replaced b/c it is outdated and they tend to cause fires (Federal Pacific panel). Also there were a couple leaks in the roof and the house still has galvanized piping that has a few leaks in the crawl space. We are wanting them to take $1,500 off the purchase price rather than them making the repairs. The problem is that they are very firm on their pricing when we first started negotiating before we had a contract. So how do we negotiate w/o breaking the deal, we love the house and are set on buying it.

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Angela Clark, Agent, Webster, MA
Fri Oct 17, 2008
I agree with the other agents - hold firm! This is especially true if the home has been on the market for awhile. Are you working with an agent? Is this a FSBO?

Write up a list of ALL the home inspection "issues" this home had and emphasize that you are "only" asking for a $1500 credit towards a new roof.

And if there is a listing agent, she/he does not want this deal to fall through and neither should the seller. If the deal falls through, the home inspections issues have to be disclosed to future potential buyers at showings.

AND, listen to Scott - they should fix it or credit you at closing. And, watch the time period for responses.

Good Luck!

Angela Clark
0 votes
I was in a situation where my inspector told me the foundation of the house was collapsing; I tried to negotiate but the seller was firmed in her price. I sent the inspection report to my agent and the seller's agent and I decline the buy.
Days later, I was very surprised that the house was back on the market but without any information about the problem in the foundation. Is this ethical?
Flag Tue Aug 1, 2017
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Oct 17, 2008
You should make two offers to them. that they fix the problems or they credit you back the amount at closing so you can have it fixed. You be firm, be prepared to back out if your requests are not met. chances are the sellers agent will get back to you quickly. Make sure you are within the time period for a response though. good luck
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
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Caesar Fiori…, Home Owner, Maywood, NJ
Fri Oct 17, 2008
if it bothers you that much, then be firm!
Trust me, if they want to hold you up over that amount, call the bluff!

Never look at real estate if you ain't ready to walk away!
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Fri Oct 17, 2008
Maybe you can get a better deal on one of these foreclosures in that neighborhood. Good Luck. Link to foreclosures.
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Linda Slocum,…, , Santa Clarita, CA
Fri Oct 17, 2008
Generally sellers are not "required" to make any repairs, although it is advisable for them to correct known safety issues. The electrical panel may be considered more of a retrofit than a safety issue. Many inspectors will red-flag certain electrical panels to make sure that they are protected legally, so be sure to do your own research as well.

If you're looking at a repipe, roof leaks and a new electrical panel, all of these items combined will cost you significantly more than the $1500 you're requesting. Have your agent present a request for repairs with a $1500 credit towards your closing costs in lieu of making the repairs, and see what the seller will do! As mentioned earlier, this amount shouldn't be large enough for you to back out of the deal, but it's worth asking to see if the sellers will respond.

Good luck!
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Michael Lefe…, Agent, Westborough, MA
Fri Oct 17, 2008
Congratulations on finding a home you love! And you STILL love after the inspection! : )

$1,500 seems like a VERY little amount to lose a deal over. Not sure what the price point is, but still $1,500 seems minuscule! Get creative.... The agents involved will HATE me for saying this, but sometimes deals comes together when each agent is willing to concede a small portion of their commission. I've done it before.

Also, keep in mind sellers who claim they are "firm" on pricing sometimes become "less firm" when the deal is in jeopardy of falling apart. Tough line to walk sometimes, especially when you LOVE the home.

But at the end of the day, this sounds like a good house for you guys and $1,500 seems like a very reasonable amount to get creatively negotiated. You will get some other suggestions here. And some Realtors calling for my head for mentioning commission. : )

Good luck!
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Fri Oct 17, 2008
It's risky but call their bluff and hold firm on your request. The truth is its hard for us to give you great advice without knowing the details of the deal and property: how long was it on the market? were there other offers? how much did you discount off asking price? etc. All of these things combined will tell you whether the risk of calling their bluff might actually work (given the touch market ... the seller should bend and focus on selling) or not (they are confident they can find someone else).

What is your buyers agent suggesting?
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