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These are trying times for real estate sales professionals. Among other challenges, often the home inspection results are the most difficult to negotiate. How can we cross the hurdle and benefit everyone in the transaction? It begins with the seller.

Realistically, home inspection results represent the second largest obstacle to a successful close. The first obstacle is price (and the appraiser’s concurrence with the price). Within ten days the second obstacle, inspection results, rear their ugly head. With some acquired skill, the home inspection can be your best ally in the quest to have a meeting of the minds between buyer & seller.

We know that buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell. A seller “in contract” to sell a home must be ready to negotiate findings from the home inspection report. A properly prepared seller will know that their home is not perfect and problem areas are sure to be discovered during an inspection. Steps the seller should take:

1. Prepare mentally for the shock of hearing that your pride and joy has a few defects.
2. If present during the inspection, avoid interacting with the inspector unless asked and don’t take negative findings personally.
3. Don’t react or take action until you review the inspection report and review the requests of the buyer. Often the buyer is reasonable and early overreactions create difficulties.
4. Set a budget for how much you are willing to give to close the deal. Having an interested buyer is a precious thing; don’t allow emotions to interfere with logic at this stage. Causing a buyer to walk in a down real estate market is nonsensical.
5. Counter with a reasonable offer. As a seller, if you are countering on the results from a home inspection report, be reasonable and provide a thoughtful letter detailing the reason your counter-offer is logical. Help the buyer relate to your position and see that you are doing your best to meet their requests.


The bottom line is that parties to a real estate transaction are under stress and need help to find middle ground.

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