Mortgages & Home Loans Real Estate Resources How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection Here’s what to do if a home has underlying issues By Aly J. Yale Aly J. Yale Twitter Aly J. Yale is the homebuying, home loans, and mortgages expert for The Balance. With over 10 years of experience as a freelance writer and journalist, Aly has also contributed to online media outlets including Forbes, The Motley Fool, CreditCards.com, and The Simple Dollar, with areas of focus covering real estate, mortgages, and related financial topics. She holds a bachelor's of science in communication from Texas Christian University. learn about our editorial policies Updated on January 18, 2022 Reviewed by Doretha Clemon Reviewed by Doretha Clemon Doretha Clemons, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, has been a corporate IT executive and professor for 34 years. She is an adjunct professor at Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, Maryville University, and Indiana Wesleyan University. She is a Real Estate Investor and principal at Bruised Reed Housing Real Estate Trust, and a State of Connecticut Home Improvement License holder. learn about our financial review board Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Options After a Home Inspection Negotiating for Repairs or Credits What To Expect A Note for Sellers Home Inspections FAQs Photo: Paul Bradbury / Getty Images If you’re buying a new house, you will probably want to get a third-party home inspection. If the home gets a clean bill of health, you’ll feel assured that you’re buying a safe, well-maintained property, and investing your money wisely. But what happens if that inspection reveals a problem? What are your options, and how do you move forward (or back out) if the results are less than ideal? The answer depends on your sales contract as well as the repairs that are needed, the seller’s willingness to negotiate, and several other factors. Here’s what to do if you find yourself potentially negotiating repairs after a home inspection. Key Takeaways A home inspection can help you identify deficiencies in a home you’re considering purchasing.If the inspection report reveals necessary repairs, then repair credits are usually a good option for both the buyer and the seller.Other options include asking the seller to make the repairs, asking them to lower the sales price, or backing out of the deal (if there's an inspection contingency in your contract). Your Options After a Home Inspection A home inspection can help identify deficiencies in a home you’re considering purchasing. If the inspection reveals that problems are present or repairs are needed, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix those issues. You can also ask for credits toward your closing costs in order to make up for them. If you have a home inspection contingency in place, and the issues that your inspector finds are deal-breakers, you may be able to back out of the purchase entirely. If you decide to go that route, you should be able to receive back the full deposit you put toward the purchase. Here are your options after a home inspection reveals problems: Ask the seller to make the repairs themselvesAsk for credits toward your closing costsAsk the seller to reduce the sales price to make up for the repairsBack out of the transaction (if you have an inspection contingency in place)Move forward with the deal Negotiating for Repairs or Credits In most cases, repair credits are a good option for both parties. Sellers are often hesitant to complete repairs because of the hassle and extra time they can add to the sales process. Buyers may also prefer to handle the repairs themselves to ensure the project is done to their standards. To negotiate for repairs or credits, start by getting an estimate from a local contractor or construction professional for how much the repairs will cost. If you’re working with a real estate agent, they should handle the negotiations on your behalf. Make sure your agent has a copy of the inspection report to use as leverage when working with the listing agent and their seller. Note If you’re going solo with your home purchase, you’ll need to work with the listing agent directly to negotiate. Use your contractor’s quote and your home inspection report to guide you. What To Expect Generally, sellers may be willing to negotiate on major issues, such as a leaky roof, a cracked foundation, electrical problems, or other items that pose a safety hazard or come with a high repair bill. That’s in their interest, since your lender may not approve your loan if the home has structural defects, serious safety hazards, or building code violations. Sellers will be less likely to budge on aesthetic or superficial items that don’t impact the overall fortitude of the house. However, they might be more flexible if the home has been on the market for some time or if the local housing market is soft. Note Sellers typically won’t consider negotiating on issues that were visible or known before you made your offer on the home. Before negotiating, you may want to consider: The state of your local housing marketYour desire for the homeThe size and cost of the repairsThe severity of the problemYour future renovation and remodeling plansYour budgetThe time the home has been on the marketThe home’s history and age A Note for Sellers If you’re selling your home and a buyer’s home inspection reveals defects, you also have options. You can: Lower the priceOffer credits for closing costsAgree to certain repairsBarter with appliances or other items in the home Alternatively, you can opt to do nothing. Keep in mind, however, that depending on the issues at hand, the buyer may be able to back out of the deal. If that occurs, you can re-list the home or revert to a backup offer, but you may be legally required to disclose the issues found during the home inspection to any future buyers. To prevent a buyer’s inspection from throwing off your deal, you may want to consider a pre-listing inspection to identify any problems in the home before putting it on the market. That can reduce delays and hassle later on. What Do Home Inspectors Look for? Home inspectors look at a home's systems, such as heating and AC, interior plumbing, the roof, the foundation, and other structural components of the home. The inspector will look at aspects of the home that are reasonably accessible. Once the inspection is completed, the home inspector will write up a report for you to review. How Much Are Home Inspections? Home inspections typically range from $279 to $399, according to HomeAdvisor. The actual cost of your home inspection depends on where you live and the size of your home. Who Inspects a Home? A professional, licensed home inspector must be the one to carry out the home inspection. The inspector should be impartial and unbiased. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Closing on Your New Home: Schedule a Home Inspection." NOLO. "After Home Inspection, We Want Out of the Purchase. Can We Get Earnest Money Back?" United States Environmental Protection Agency. "Real Estate Disclosures about Potential Lead Hazards." State of California Department of Real Estate. "Disclosures in Real Property Transactions," Page 1. HomeAdvisor. "How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?"