The home inspection and negotiating considerations

Don't buy a lemon (but sometimes, a lemon-in-waiting can help you make lemonade): By no means skip the home inspection. The seller should handle serious issues, such as removing an underground oil tank or fixing any serious problems with plumbing or electrical systems - and these can be negotiating points. If the house has serious issues and the seller doesn't want to address them, the best bet might be to walk away, experts say.

But something that comes up in the home inspection could help you bargain for a lower price - that is, if it's not something vitally important that makes buying the house questionable.

On the other hand, you're not buying perfection. On a used house, "wear and tear" - some outside boards that have rotted, painting that needs to be done, or the like - are not the seller's responsibility to fix.

(And remember: Everyone thinks that their house is special.  People are emotionally attached to their homes, they have memories, and they've often raised their family there.  Note that and be sensitive to it.)

Buyers kind of want it perfect, and sellers feel like they don't want to give it away.  Both buyers and sellers need to be reasonable and compromise.  That is a key area where a real estate sales representative can assist.

Keep in mind:  it's not a fire sale. If a buyer comes in with an unreasonably low offer, they risk insulting the seller. Don't insult the sellers - if you do, they might refuse to negotiate with you, and you might never have another chance at their house.

A lowball offer might work - but it might bring only hostility. A real estate sales representative can guide you in choosing a negotiating price.

It's important to justify your offer.  You can say, 'I've looked at nearby properties. I love your home, but it needs this, this and this.' Maintaining an amiable relationship between the parties helps facilitate the transaction, and that's what a good real estate sales representative does.


Adapted from Newsday. com