You Both Have Choices!

The post-inspection period is often a source of confusion for buyers and sellers working without an agent. It can also be a traumatic period. For the seller, the report reads like a laundry list of reasons the house shouldn't be sold, and for the buyer it looks like prophecy of problems yet-to-come.

Just remember: No house is perfect, the inspection report is not a contract, it's not a wish list, it's just a way to let the buyer know what they're getting before they commit. 

So, you have the inspection report -- regardless of whether you're buying or selling, you have some choices.

If you are the buyer, you have four basic choices after an inspection report. You can-- 

  1. ask the seller to make their requested repairs;
  2. ask for a reduction in sales price in lieu of repairs;
  3. request no repairs at all;
  4. decline to buy the property.

Those are really the only powers you have. You can't force the seller to make repairs, but you do hold the ultimate power of walking away from the sale if you can't live with their decisions on repairs.

As the seller, you have three choices. You can--

  1. agree to the buyer's request and make all repairs;
  2. agree to part of the request and make some of the repairs, or create an allowance for repairs and stipulate in the contract that the house is being sold 'as is';
  3. agree to make no repairs or credits at all.

If negotiations are getting tricky, I suggest figuring out the amount you'd have to pay for the buyer's list of repairs and comparing that with the various costs in not selling your home. If you know it will take a few more months to get to this point with another buyer, factor this into your response to the buyer's requests.