You found an off-market property, you made an offer, and the seller accepted.
Then you got the home inspected… but the inspector found problems that you hadn’t factored into your original offer price.
What should you do?
Well, don’t panic. This happens a lot more often than you might think.
Ryan Dossey has dealt with his fair share of surprising inspections and the following advice comes from his video below. You can watch the video or read the article.
But before we dive in, our first piece of advice is this: definitely get in the habit of paying professional home inspectors to look at your properties before you seal the deal. Ryan has lost a lot of money in the past when he’s skipped this step… and we don’t want you to make the same mistake.
1. Outline Your Expectations & Assumptions
The first thing you need to do — and this should happen before the inspection — is to outline the expectations and assumptions that your offer depends upon.
And make sure you explain this to the seller when they’re signing the contract.
For instance: “Just so we’re clear, for this offer, we are assuming that the septic is in good working order, that the property is zoned correctly, the HVAC systems are in fair condition…”
Outline all of the expectations that your offer depends on.
That way, if you have to renegotiate, the sellers will understand why and they’ll be more likely to accept your adjusted offer.
2. Remember That You Can Walk Away
This is just a quick reminder that if you have to renegotiate your original offer after the inspection but the seller is refusing to be reasonable, then you can always walk away.
So long as you’ve included the proper assumptions within your original contract, then it’s entirely appropriate for you to walk away from the deal and save money in the long-run if needed.
Ideally, you’ll be able to renegotiate with the seller… but if not, this is always an 0ption.
3. Remind The Seller of Their Legal Obligation
Once a seller knows about the problems that their home has, they are now legally obligated to disclose that information regardless of who they sell the home to.
If you do an inspection on the property, find things wrong with it that the seller wasn’t aware of, and then tell them… that responsibility is now on their shoulders.
This gives you a bit of leverage in re-negotiating the deal.
Don’t abuse this power, but remember that it does give you some leverage — if the seller tries to get out of the contract after you lower your offer because of problems that the inspection uncovered, it’s helpful to remind them of this legal obligation (although, do so carefully and sympathetically).
4. Subtract The Cost of Repairs & Adjust Your Offer
Before I buy a used car, I always have a mechanic look at it.
And typically, I’ll then look at the Kelly Blue Blook price of the car, subtract the cost of repairs (if any), and then give the seller my best offer. They almost always accept because this feels like such a reasonable and transparent process.
You should renegotiate after a bad inspection the same way.
Walk the seller through all the repair costs that the initial offer didn’t factor in, subtract that from your initial offer, and then show them your new offer.
If you show them the math, then they probably won’t argue with the new number. It’s honest, transparent, and effective… which is what your business needs 😉