Home Inspection Negotiation Tips for Buyers and Sellers


In an ideal world, buyers find their dream home, negotiate a fair price, and live happily ever after. But in fact, the process can be a bit more complicated.

The reality is that no home is perfect. Leaky roofs, broken appliances, and faulty plumbing are all part of a homeowner’s way of life.

If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, such flaws can be potential deal breakers unless you are able to make some negotiations.


Sellers in Ohio are not required to perform a home inspection. However, they are required under federal law to make a full disclosure about any issues that they already know about, including any problems with the sewer system, foundation, or any wall damage. If your home was built before 1978, you must also make a full disclosure about the presence of lead paint.

Because home sellers do not have to make a thorough inspection, buyers will probably insist on getting an independent home inspection so they can be fully informed about any issues.  If this inspection reveals any problems, then buyers and sellers need to decide what they want to do. No two cases are alike and the outcome depends on a number of factors.

asking sellers to make repairs

Man in checked shirt indoors with spatula in hand
Man in checked shirt indoors with spatula in hand


One option is to ask the sellers to make any repairs before closing. This option can be appealing to buyers, because then they don’t have to worry about financing and accomplishing these repairs after buying the home. But there are some potential problems. Typically, sellers are not very motivated to make repairs on a home that they are planning to vacate. So they might make low-quality repairs in order to save time and money.

asking sellers for a credit to pay for REPAIRS

A common and effective approach for buyers is to ask for a credit in order to complete any work that needs to be done. This way, buyers can make the repairs on their own terms. It also means less negotiating, eliminating the constant back-and-forth between buyer and seller during the repair process.

prioritizing repairs

Realistically, buyers may need to accept that their new home will not be perfect. As a buyer, you should identify the things that are most important to you. For example, if you are planning to fully renovate the kitchen, maybe repairing or replacing the kitchen cabinets is not essential. Insisting on repairing every little problem may alienate the seller and sour the deal.

Every situation is different, so be sure to seek the help of an experienced realtor when making negotiations after a home inspection.