Mastering the Art of Repair Negotiations: Tips and Tricks

So, you’ve found your dream home. Hooray! But wait, there’s a catch. Enter the repair negotiations – an essential, albeit sometimes daunting, part of the home-buying process. But fear not! With a little know-how and a pinch of finesse, you can sail through this stage with ease.

Understanding the Inspection Report

First things first, let’s talk about the inspection report. This hefty document is your new best friend. It’s full of details about the property’s condition, from minor cosmetic issues to major structural concerns.

Pro Tip: Don’t get overwhelmed! Not every issue will (or should) be a deal-breaker. The key is to focus on the big ticket items – think roof repairs, electrical systems, plumbing, and foundation issues.

Prioritizing Repairs

Now that you’ve pinpointed the must-fix items, it’s time to prioritize. Create a list categorizing repairs into “must-haves,” “nice-to-haves,” and “cosmetic.” Trust me, it’ll make the whole process a lot smoother.

Must-Haves: Crucial repairs that impact safety, health, or the structural integrity of the home.

Nice-to-Haves: Repairs that could enhance livability but aren’t deal-breakers.

Cosmetic: Purely aesthetic issues that can wait.

The Negotiation Dance

Alright, time to put on your negotiation hat. Approach this like a friendly dance rather than a battle. Remember, the goal is to come to a mutual agreement, not to dominate. Here are some golden rules to keep in mind:

Be Polite: Always approach the seller courteously. Framing requests respectfully can go a long way.

Be Prepared: Provide a list of necessary repairs backed by the inspection report. Highlight the “must-haves” and be ready to explain why they’re essential.

Be Realistic: Go in with reasonable expectations. Asking for the moon might leave you with nothing.

Exploring Options

In negotiations, flexibility is your secret weapon. Here are different ways to approach repair negotiations:

Reduction in Price: Instead of having the seller carry out the repairs, negotiate a price reduction matching the estimated repair costs. This gives you control over who does the work and when.

Seller Credit: Ask the seller to provide a credit at closing, which you can then use towards repairs.

Seller Repairs: Request the seller to complete the repairs before closing. While less hassle for you, the quality of work might vary.

Documenting Agreements

Once you and the seller agree on the repairs, get everything in writing. Clear documentation ensures that there’s no confusion or last-minute surprises. Include specifics like the scope of work, timelines, and who’s responsible.

Closing the Deal

You’re almost there! Before the final handshake (or document-signing), make sure you do a final walk-through to ensure agreed-upon repairs have been made to your satisfaction. Any discrepancies should be addressed immediately.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the repair negotiations. Now, it’s time to pop the champagne and start planning your move. Your dream home is officially yours, and you earned it!

Remember, managing repair negotiations doesn’t have to be stressful. With a clear plan, polite communication, and some flexibility, you can handle this like a pro!

Spokane Real Estate Agent