Negotiating the deal

More and more South African home buyers are now making their offer to purchase (OTP) contingent on a “satisfactory” home inspection report – usually paid for by the buyer.  This means that, while the signed OTP places seller and buyer “on the same page”  and guarantees the deal, the buyer still has room to negotiate if the home inspection report reveals any unpleasant surprises as to the actual condition of the home.

John Graham, of national home inspection company HouseCheck, says some buyers prefer to commission a home inspection before submitting the OTP.   Doing the house inspection upfront means that the buyer can pitch the offer price after first obtaining insight into the actual condition of the property.

Either way, says Graham, buyers who use a good home inspection company are in a far better negotiating position.  If the OTP is conditional on a satisfactory home inspection report then in many cases, the deal-making and negotiations will continue after the OTP has been signed.

For example, if you’re a buyer, the property inspection or sellers’ disclosures — maybe the roof system has some issues — may prompt you to seek a price discount. But where do you go from there?

Here are three tips for negotiating repairs after a home inspection:

1. Ask for a cash credit at transfer for the repair work which needs to be done:  The sellers are on their way out – thinking of packing and dreaming of their new home. The last thing they want is to undertake repair work on their old home.   Also the sellers may not have the cash to pay for the repairs before transfer.

As a result, they may not approach the work with the same conscientiousness that you, as the new owner, would. If you negotiate a credit at transfer, you can use that money to complete the project yourself after transfer. Chances are you may do a better job than the seller.  Also, if you get the credit, there will be less back and forth to confirm the work has been properly done.

2. Think big picture:  If you know you want to renovate a bathroom within a few years, then you probably won’t care that some of the tiles are cracked, that there’s a leaky basin tap or that the sealing around the bath needs to be redone. These things will get fixed during your future renovation. However, these repairs can still be negotiated. Asking the seller for a credit to fix these issues will help offset some of your transfer costs.

3. Keep your cards close to your chest during the entire sales process:  Revealing your feelings about the house or your future intentions, in the presence of the selling agent, could come back to haunt you in future negotiations.

For example, if you tell the agent that you’re planning a complete renovation of the kitchen, the sellers will certainly hear about it from the agent. And then they’re going to be less likely to agree to a credit to repair some of the defective kitchen cabinets. Likewise, if the listing agent hears you tell the inspector that you love the home so much you don’t mind fixing the leaking roof, then the agent will surely let the sellers know about that too.

get your free home buyers guide

“Grateful to have a good report for Agent to offer prospective buyer”

- Nell Browne

Quote request form

We need all the details in this quote request form to quote you accurately. It takes on average a few minutes to email your quote to you after filling in the form. Industrial properties and specialised quotes may take longer.

Please fill these details

Recent Blog Posts

quality control, quality, magnifying glass

Certified Home Inspectors in South Africa

Certified Home Inspectors in South Africa In 2021 this is the status of certification for Building Inspectors and Home Inspectors in South Africa. Certified Home …

Read More →
coins, banknotes, money

The value of a home inspection

The Value of a Home Inspection How to measure the value of a home inspection Value relates to meeting the real needs of the customer …

Read More →
money, profit, finance

Pay a realistic price for your home

Pay a Realistic Price for your Home The real value of a HouseCheck lies in negotiating a deal based on the true condition of the …

Read More →
detective, cat, cartoon

Which home inspector should you choose to reduce your risk?

Which home inspector should you choose to reduce your risk? The problem is: How do you choose a home inspector with new home inspection businesses …

Read More →
question, questions, man

FAQ About Home Inspections

FAQ from Home Inspectors Here is the low down on home inspection questions. How do I get an inspection before buying a house? You should …

Read More →
kitchen, home, interior

Are Home Inspections Worth It?

Are Home Inspections Worth It? Home inspections provide prospective buyers with important, independent information regarding the condition of a property. Home Inspections are worth it …

Read More →
Scroll to Top