Negotiating Repairs after an inspection

You know, you can find out a lot of people’s motivation if you just listen to their realtor.  Most are big talkers.  Most of them view the deal as practically done once you settle on a price.  They seem to forget that there is usually one more thing to negotiate:  The repairs after the inspection.

Here are some examples of what agents sometimes say right after a contract has been accepted: 

1)  “The sellers have a contingency contract on another house that they were about to lose.”

2)  “The buyer needed to close on a house in time for him to get his family moved down here before he started his new job .”

3)  “The seller is making 2 mortgage payments.”

4)  “The buyer’s lease is up at the end of next month.”

Now, repairs are always the trickiest part of a deal.  The seller is thinking that they have lived happily in the house for so many years and that they let it go too cheap.  The buyer is always thinking that they didn’t get the house as cheap as they wanted and they don’t want to buy the seller’s problems.  That’s just human nature.   It gets rough sometimes.  Usually there is a little compromising, meaning neither party is truly happy.

But when the agent pretty much discloses that their client can’t afford to lose your client, it makes negotiating a little easier.  I’m nice about it and all, but the reality is that the only person whose interest I need to promote is that of my client’s.  If my client gives me a list of things they want repaired, I’ve got to try to get as much of it done as possible.

So, negotiating repairs is really about knowing what is happening with the other party while keeping tight lips about what is up with your client.  It is a lot easier to draw a line in the sand if the other party doesn’t know enough about you to predict what you’ll do next.

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