How To Avoid Deal KILLING Home Inspections!

This Two-Part Podcast series is a special request from our coaches and Premier Coaching clients, who are seeing more and more home inspection negotiations in today’s market.

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Today, we’ll discuss how to handle the deal-killing home inspection.  How to avoid this problem ethically, what to expect, and how to still get the deal done.  Of course, for in-depth help with this topic, you’ll want to be a Premier or Elite coaching client.


Our listeners fall into two camps on this issue:

1.  Experienced agents who have a Swiss army knife of solutions they can deploy to keep buyers and sellers happy and make it to closing.  They don’t panic, they just solve problems.

2.  Agents who may be experienced in working with buyers and sellers but who have little experience negotiating home inspections because they haven’t had to in the hot seller’s market of the past decade, where sellers could just say ‘Nope! Take it or leave it, I have 3 other offers!’, or worse: no inspection at all for you if you want to buy it.

Today’s podcast will help that second category the most but also help fine-tune the skills of our more experienced listeners who may not have dealt with this for a while.

Fact:  Buyers are getting more control of the transaction and home inspections are happening again.  So are home inspection negotiations!  Worst case scenario, this becomes a secondary point of negotiation.  Everything could be on the table, including the purchase price, concessions from either or both sides and even the deal itself.  This is a critical skill to improve upon so you’ll virtually never lose a deal due to failing inspection items.

What to do when you get that big grocery list of what the buyer wants fixed! 

1. Listing agents: Consider having Seller’s Coverage from a trusted home warranty company at the time you take the listing.  Many items will be covered including HVAC, plumbing, and electric, and the cost isn’t paid until closing.  This will help with minor but common issues.

2.  Buyers agents:  Council your buyer about what is appropriate versus inappropriate to request.  Safety and security items and health risks are typically appropriate. Cosmetic items are not.

Note: With all home inspections, the results will be one of these 4 outcomes.  

-The Buyer gets nothing. Take it or leave it.  They walk or they don’t.

-The Seller says yes to everything, they figured they’d have to deal with inspection items.

-The Seller gives the buyer money to do the repairs themselves, based on estimates.

-Some Combination of the above. Repairs plus some money.

3.  Buyer or seller’s agent:  Present the list and simply ask your client what they think.  It’s not your job to have an opinion, to be an expert, or to play home inspector.  Oftentimes what YOU are freaking out about might not be of concern to the buyer, or if the seller is your client, they may already be on top of the issue.

4.  Buyer or seller’s agent:  Know what’s a deal killer and what is just a request.  Again, focusing on safety items is the rule of thumb here.  If the HVAC just doesn’t work, that’s a reasonable request.  If the buyer wants new window coverings, that’s pretty unrealistic, cosmetic, and not the point of a home inspection.  

5.  Listing agents: respond in a timely way with a reasonable response.  Factors for you and the seller to consider when deciding how to respond:

-Is the buyer paying the list price or over the list price, or did the seller take significantly less than the list price?

-Does the buyer have other homes they can buy if they simply walk away or is this the only home on the market or close to it?

-Was the seller going to fix some of these items anyway before closing?

-Are there warranties on any of the items?  New construction has builder warranties that last several years.  Newer appliances may have warranties.  HVAC systems as well.

-What is the total value of the items requested?  Put a dollar figure on it.

-Would the seller offer the buyer money/concessions to fix the items versus hassling with the repairs?  If it’s a big ticket, estimates may be needed.  Average several to know a realistic cost.

-Can the seller fix the big items and deny the rest without jeopardizing the deal?

6.  Buyer’s agents: accept or counter with a reasonable response in a reasonable time.  Keep the deal alive no matter what.  There is a resolution.




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