This isn’t our first discussion about home inspections—I know. I wrote 5 Reasons To Wait To Negotiate Until After the Home Inspection in order to relay a strategy that I personally have had much success with over the past three years. I find it much easier to negotiate once you have an inspection, which I do not advise a buyer to pay for until they have a bound contract. While some people disagreed, hopefully this update will clarify my position.

With an inspection in hand, you actually know the condition of the property and the function, or dysfunction, of the major systems. In my opinion, this is the only reasonable time to negotiate. If you try to negotiate at any other time, you are doing so from a point of emotion and unknowns.

1. Real estate is a people business.
I believe in putting people first, always. That said, asking for an inspection should not offend a seller, or in any way be considered disrespectful to a seller. It is a buyer’s right, a right that I think all buyers should exercise if the situation allows.

It is not malicious or unethical for a buyer to ask for an inspection and then ask for the things that come back on that inspection to be rectified, especially when it is a property that the seller is asking market value for.

If a seller does not want to allow for an inspection, then they should simply not accept an offer with an inspection contingency.

2. You should know what to expect.
An inspection allows a buyer to see what issues the property currently has, or might have in the future, and provides a great opportunity to ensure the buyer knows what they are getting into.

If the inspection turns up major issues, particularly structural, safety, or with the major systems, I encourage a buyer to ask for those issues to be rectified, in one way or another, before closing. That said, each buyer is different and has different priorities. I encourage buyers to only negotiate on the things that are of the utmost importance to them.

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