What’s Popular in Kitchens Now

Trend #1 Colorful Cabinets

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What the pros say. “Painted cabinets are having a bit of a moment,” says designer and decorator Nancy Harper of Washington, D.C.-based Studio Miel. Harper and other pros agreed that blues and greens are the go-to non-neutral colors of choice now, but Harper says she could see other bold hues — emeralds, darker shades — also take hold soon.

What popular Houzz photos say. Seven of the 10 most-saved kitchen photos uploaded in the last three months feature cabinets with some color, including four examples of blue cabinets, one example of green and two black. Even if gray and white are still more common in most remodels, many Houzz users are drawn to brighter pops of personality.

Getting the low-key look. Paul McAlary, of Pennsylvania-based kitchen and cabinet design firm Main Line Kitchen Design, says more colorful cabinets, particularly bolder shades like navy blue, can cost more. He doesn’t recommend painting them yourself as it can damage the quality of the cabinets. Instead, he suggests homeowners get their color fix through the easier-to-update walls or backsplash. Still, painting your cabinets yourself is definitely the affordable option if you want to get the look for less. “They’ll never look quite like they actually should, but it’ll be [an updated] color and they’ll be OK for a few years,” McAlary says.

Getting the full-out look. Incorporate vibrant cabinetry in just the island or base cabinets, or create dimension and visual interest by pairing all-around colorful cabinets with contrasting countertops and on-trend brass or gold hardware.

Next week Trend #2….

*Info provided by Houzz.com

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The 7 Worst Habits Homeowners Need to Break Now

#1 Taking Long, Steamy Showers

Spending 20 minutes in the steam may be good for your pores, but it’s also great for mold and mildew. Run the exhaust fan while you’re singing in the shower, squeegee the walls afterward, and scrub that grout every few months.

“Once you let the grout go, it gets worse and worse, and harder and harder to maintain,” says Mylène Merlo, a REALTOR® in San Diego. Grungy grout is a big turnoff for buyers. And redoing it is a pain and expensive to hire out.

#2 Keeping Out the Sun

Shutting your shades on winter days might seem smart. More insulation from the chilly weather, right? Your energy bill disagrees. A sunny window can warm your home and lower your heating costs. And as a bonus, you could see a decrease in seasonal depression.

But your original idea wasn’t totally wrong. Closing those blinds at night can keep your home toasty.

#3 Compulsively Buying Bargains

Finding a deal feels so good, but cheaper isn’t always better. In fact, budget buys might cost you more in the long run. For instance, dollar paintbrushes will leave annoying streaks, requiring a costly re-do.

And when it comes to appliances, permit a little splurge — especially if selling your home is on the horizon.

“I always err with going for high-quality appliances,” Merlo says. “There is a noticeable difference between the cheapest and next-cheapest models. And buyers want to see stainless steel.”

#4 Running a Half-Full Dishwasher

You get a gold star for always remembering to start your dishwasher before bed, right? Clean dishes every morning! Go you! Yeah, about that: Your dishwasher wastes water unless it’s completely full.

Dishwashers do save more water than washing by hand (just try telling that to your mom), but most machines use the same amount of water regardless of how many plates you’ve stuffed inside, making a half-empty cycle significantly less efficient. For a household of one or two, once a day can be overkill.

#5 Mega-Mulching

A “tree volcano” might sound like a grand ol’ time, but it’s actually damaging your foliage. Too much mulch suffocates your tree, causing root rot and welcoming invasive insects.  Protect your precious trees by packing mulch loosely, letting water filter properly toward the trunk.

#6 Going on a Remodeling Rampage

Don’t break out the sledgehammer for a demo three weeks after moving in unless your home needs serious, obvious work. Give yourself time to understand the home’s quirks before renovating.

“You don’t know what your needs are when you first move into a home,” says Merlo. “You should live there for at least six months to figure out the space you need. If you do too much too soon, you’ll regret it.”

For instance, you could dump $15,000 into a kitchen remodel — only to realize the original layout would have worked better for holiday parties. Or you paint a room your favorite color, Wild Plum, only to realize the natural light in the room makes it look more like Rotten Plum. Whoops.

#7 Packratting

You know clutter is bad, but you just… can’t… help it. You had to put that unused exercise bike in the spare room instead of by the road as a freebie because what if? Plus, there’s so much in there already, and decluttering seems like such an insurmountable goal — even though every jam-packed square foot is space you can’t enjoy.

If the task seems impossible, Ryan recommends starting small.

“Do one small thing,” she says. “Clean out a drawer or reorganize your counter, and then you feel the satisfaction of having done it. It becomes easier to do the next small thing.”

Just remember: Breaking habits takes time and a lot of slip-ups. “It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we blow it,” Ryan says. “When we create new habits, we’re building new wiring, but it’s not like the old wiring disappears. Don’t turn goof-ups into give-ups.”

Until next time….

*Info provided by houselogic.com

House-Hunting Tips to Avoid #Facepalm Moments

“I Saw the House Online. It’s Perfect — Let’s Make an Offer Before It’s Gone!”

Buying a house sight unseen?!? Whoa. Online photos are a fun sneak peek — and that’s all.

Before you plan marriage after the house equivalent of swiping right, consider this:

  • It’s the photos that aren’t in the gallery you should worry about. You won’t see the hastily patched cracks in the home’s foundation. Or the mold in the attic.
  • Your other senses need to evaluate the place. There could be traffic rumbling by or a stinky recycling facility downwind.
  • Three words: Wide angle lens. (They make small spaces look deceptively big.)

So before you make an offer, tour the place. And the yard. And the neighborhood. It’s worth it.

“I Want to Buy This House. And Look, There’s an Agent Right Here!”

While that might seem mighty convenient, it’s not in your best interests. The real estate agent at an open house most likely represents the seller.

That means they’re obligated to work in that person’s best interest. If you start blabbing about how you’re pre-approved for $285,000, but you’d rather offer $260,000, you’ll compromise your negotiating position.

As a buyer, you should contract with a buyer’s agent who works on your behalf. They’ll understand your wants and needs, counsel you based on your budget and priorities, and advise you through the negotiating process.

“I’ll Rely On an Online Home-Value Estimator.”

Google “home-value estimator” and you’ll get pages of tools that promise you a free estimate of home value. Plug the address into the tool, some algorithms do their thing, and in seconds you know what a house is worth.

But unless that algorithm’s been poking around the basement with a flashlight, it’s a ballpark figure at best.

Home valuation is both art and science. There are nuances within house and market that an online estimator just can’t see. What if the seller made major renovations last year? Or what if houses rarely turn over in the neighborhood, so there’s not enough data to work with online?

Your agent knows current market conditions and the inventory of homes in the market — all of which help you make a nuanced offer.

Use these fun tools as a guide, but don’t take them to the bank.

“I Don’t Have Kids, So I Don’t Have to Worry About School Districts.”

Yeah … nope. School district matters regardless of your parenting status. Whether or not you have kids, a future buyer might. And neighborhoods with good school districts tend to maintain value and appreciate faster than those in other areas. People want to live near good schools, which leads to rising home values and better neighborhood amenities.

“If a House Doesn’t Have Everything On My List, I’m Not Looking At It.”

Definitely make your list. Your list is important. But use it as a starting point to help you prioritize. Because buyers who can prioritize have the most success.

They turn that list into must-haves and nice-to-haves — and they also consider which of their must-haves could turn into will-dos.

For example, you can switch laminate for quartz, but you can’t move a country home next door to your city office. Skip the listings that are in the wrong location, but why not check out the ones with the wrong countertops? Maybe the one thing you’d enjoy more than quartz counters are quartz counters you picked out yourself.

“I’ll Figure out This HOA Thing After Closing.”

Homeowners associations (HOAs) might just seem like a cute little neighborhood organization, but some have the power to limit your pets, restrict your parking, and pick your paint colors.

Since how you live is likely as important to you as where you live, read and fully understand the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) before you buy. Restrictions that don’t fit your lifestyle could be as much of a deal breaker as a crumbling foundation.

That’s not to say HOAs are bad. Oh no — they can be great at preserving neighborhoods, keeping home values high, and some give you access to amenities. But the benefits and drawbacks of each one vary, so take a close look.

Until next time….

*info provided by houselogic.com

4 Wow-Worthy (and Doable!) Upgrades for Blah-Like Kitchens

#1 Soft-Closing Drawers Instead of Lower Cabinets

When I remodeled my kitchen, I knew it would be way beyond my budget to install new cabinets; painting the existing ones was pretty much my best option. But should I ever move into a house where I gut the cabinetry and install new, adding soft-closing drawers below the counter seems like the smart choice.

Not only does it nix the potential to injure myself on a half-closed drawer (I’ve already got enough mysterious leg bruises, thank you), but I prefer the accessibility of drawers for things like pots and pans instead of digging through a cabinet.

#2 Fingerprint- and Spot-Resistant Everything

Finishes like stainless steel, chrome, brass, and brushed gold have been extremely popular over the last 10 years. But when it comes to shopping for surfaces I use several times a day, I think it’s important to put more thought into its function too. So, for my next house or next home remodel, I know that I’ll be paying a lot more attention to finishes that are specifically labeled as “spot” or “fingerprint” resistant.

When I installed my faucet, one of the nifty features about the finish was that it was a new color called “slate” that was supposed to be resistant to fingerprints and water spots. While it seems to differ by manufacturer as to the name of this type of finish, the color appears to be not quite “stainless” but not quite “nickel,” either — it’s some kind of in-between style. Yet it still works with the other appliances I’ve already put in.

More and more companies seem to be offering similar “spotless” finishes on their newer appliances and faucets, so I hope it’s a long-term trend I can take advantage of when I need to decorate a new kitchen. I can see this finish being especially useful for things like bathroom faucet handles, too. They get splattered with soap, toothpaste, etc., the most.

#3 Bluetooth-Enabled or Voice-Activated Devices

Bluetooth speakers aren’t exactly a novel concept, but they’re also (IMO) easily forgotten when designing. It absolutely makes sense to incorporate quality speakers into the rooms where you listen to music the most.

I installed a Bluetooth speaker/fan/ceiling light in my guest bathroom a while back, and while it’s awesome for singing (loudly) in the shower and provides great sound quality, I’d prefer it have one improvement: I’d love it if it used a voice system like Alexa (such as the Echo or Echo Dot) or Google Home instead of a remote.

The remote is useless when I’m all soaped up in the shower, and I’ve found that using a voice-activated speaker system is incredibly handy (pun intended?) when I’m cooking in the kitchen.

As time goes on, I imagine there’ll be more opportunities to mount or include such an item in a home’s design, rather than have it as a separate item on a counter surface (similar to how USB chargers are being added to outlets and wireless charging pads are being incorporated into furniture).

#4 Deep, Single-Basin Sinks

I have this feature in my current kitchen, and when I daydream about a future kitchen, the sink stays the same! I spent a long time debating this when I picked out my sink, and I still LOVE that mine is really deep and has only one basin. It makes it really easy to fill pots and clean cookie sheets without having to play Jenga with other things I’m washing. I also think it makes it easier to keep clean — it just takes one simple sweep.

Until next time….

*Info provided by SARAH FOGLE – Her do-it-yourself tips, tutorials, and renovation realities are featured on her blog, UglyDucklingHouse.com, where she shares her passion for all things DIY. 

 

Your Guide to Negotiating an Offer

What you need to know to get the best deal for you.

What’s a Counteroffer?

When you receive an offer, you can accept it as-is, reject it outright, or make a counteroffer — a move that opens negotiations with the buyer.

Unless you’re being offered an amount equal to or above the full listing price, many buyers expect you to make a counteroffer — which is why a lot of people make an initial offer that’s lower than the asking price. And why a lot of buyers make an initial offer that’s lower than what they’re ultimately willing to pay.

What Should a Seller Prioritize?

Before you start negotiating, you’ll want to know what you’re hoping get from the buyer. Obviously, money is important. But it’s not everything. There are other factors to consider when crafting a counteroffer, particularly timing.

So, sit down with your agent and have an open discussion about your goals. Do you want more money? A faster closing period? Fewer contingencies? When you review these types of questions with your agent before you respond to an offer, and have a crystal-clear sense of your priorities, the negotiation process will go a lot more smoothly.

Who Has More Leverage?

Ready to play hardball? Hold up, slugger. First, you have to consider your position on the field. How much negotiating power do you really have? The answer depends on several factors.

A lot depends on your local market conditions. If you’re in a buyer’s market — meaning the supply of homes exceeds demand from buyers — you may have to make some concessions to secure an offer. If you’re in a sellers’ market —  and homes are flying off the proverbial shelves,  selling at or above list prices — you may be able to persuade a buyer to offer more money for the house, for instance, or to let go of some contingencies (aka provisions that must be met for the transaction to go through).

Your timetable will also impact whether you have the upper hand. If you’re not in a rush to sell, you may be free to negotiate more aggressively. If you’re in a time crunch because, say, you already bought your next home and don’t want to pay two mortgages at one time, your hands may be tied.

In any case: Confer with your agent. They can help you objectively assess your position and determine the right negotiating strategy.

How Long Can This Go On?

Don’t worry. It may only feel like forever.

When you make a counteroffer, the buyer can either accept the new offer, reject it, or make a new counteroffer. (Sound familiar?)

This volley can go back and forth, and potentially end in a stalemate — unless you or the buyer put an expiration date on your counteroffer. This can be a smart strategy for you as a seller because it puts pressure on the buyer to make a decision. It also gives you the ability to move on to the next bidder if the buyer tries to stall (chances are, they’ll do this so they can look at more homes without giving yours up).

It’s not unusual for the first offer to be best one — depending on market conditions, of course. And often, sellers see the most interest from buyers in the first month of the home being on the market.

If you get a good offer right off the bat, start negotiating. You may get a better offer. On the other hand, you may not.

Which Negotiation Tactics Are Most Useful?

The actual negotiation is the job of your agent, who will be experienced in real estate deal-making. That being said, you should still strategize with your agent before they make that counteroffer for you. Here are five ways you can nab a better deal:

  1. Avoid making an emotional decision. It’s easy to get caught up by the emotional bond you’ve formed with your home. The backyard just might be where you got married. And that cozy office could be where your small business was born. But the important thing to remember is this: You have to detach yourself from your home. This is business — nothing more.
  2. Know your bottom-line. Before moving forward, figure out what you need to get from the deal, at a minimum. That will give your agent a baseline when opening negotiations.
  3. Negotiate a “clean” offer. You want an offer with as few contingencies as possible, since contingencies give the buyer the opportunity to back out of the deal. But some contingencies — such as an appraisal, an inspection, or a financing contingency — can’t be waived by home buyers who are obtaining mortgages because they’re typically required by a mortgage lender in order to approve the loan. Still, if you have multiple offers to choose from, you may be able to persuade a buyer to waive certain contingencies, such as a radon contingency or termite inspection contingency.
  4. Offer a home warranty. In a buyers’ market, a low-cost way to make a deal more appealing to a buyer is to offer a home warranty — a plan that covers the cost of repairing home appliances and systems, like the air-conditioner or hot water heater, if they break down within a certain period of time (typically a year after closing). Home buyers love this extra security blanket, and the standard one-year basic home warranty will only set you back about $300 to $500.
  5. Don’t overlook the closing date. Typically, the sale process — from accepting an offer to closing — takes about 30 to 45 days (sometimes a little longer). But in most cases, the faster you can close the better. Especially if you need cash to buy your next home. A quicker closing period has to be feasible for the buyer, however, and some types of home loans take longer to obtain than others.

Should I Start a Bidding War?

If you have more than one offer on the table, you might be tempted to pit buyers against each other and watch them duke it out for your home. (Anyone who’s seen The Bachelor knows that kind of drama can be fun, after all.) But think twice before you do: This strategy can backfire. Buyers may walk away in frustration.

Rather than starting a bidding war, ask all buyers to come back with their “best and final” offer by a certain deadline (say, within the next 24 hours), and then choose the one that’s right for you.

Remember: It’s Good to Give and Receive

At the end of the day, receiving an offer is a good thing! It means you’re getting closer to a sale. But remember, you may have to give a little in the negotiations, too. Keep your head on your shoulders — don’t make an emotional decision — and you’ll be all the more likely to get what you want.

Until next time….

*info provided by houselogic.com

Home Upgrades With the Lowest ROI

File these 4 home upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.

#1 Outdoor Kitchen

The fantasy: You’re the man — grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.

The reality: For what it costs — median cost is $14,000 — are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA’s “Life At Home” study.

The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you’re dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting — only 1% of buyers don’t want that.

 

#2 In-Ground Swimming Pool

The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.

The reality: Pools are money pits that you’ll spend $57,500 to install, and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won’t use them as much as you think, and when you’re ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain. In fact, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS®, you’ll only get back 43% return when you sell.

The bottom-line: If a backyard swimming pool is on your must-have home list, go for it. But, get real about:

  • How many days per year you’ll actually swim.
  • How much your energy bills will climb to heat the water ($760 to $1,845 depending on location and temperature).
  • What you’ll pay to clean and chemically treat the pool ($20 to $100 per month in-season if you do it yourself; $75 to $165 per month for a pool service).
  • The fact that you’ll likely need to invest in a pool fence. In fact, some insurance carriers require it.

#3 In-Ground Spa

The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.

The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You’ll have to buy a cover ($50 to $400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas’ ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.

The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won’t use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000 to $2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.

#4 Elevator

Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.

The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don’t want in the NAHB “What Buyers Really Want” report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.

The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000 to $5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.

Until next time….

*info provided by houselogic.com

 

A Seller’s Guide to Navigating the Home Inspection

In Every Inspection, There Are Stakes for Buyers and Sellers

Once the buyer has made, and you’ve accepted, the offer, your home will get the once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is usually a contingency of the offer, meaning the buyer can back out based on serious problems discovered. The lender also expects an inspection to make sure it’s making a good investment. Makes sense, right?

During the home inspection, an inspector will examine the property for flaws. Based on the inspector’s report the buyer will then give you a list of repair requests.

Your agent will work with you to negotiate those requests. Don’t want to be responsible for a repair? (Maybe it’s best if the buyer has the fix made by their own contractor anyway.) Your agent may be able to negotiate a price credit with the buyer instead.

By the way, inspections aren’t necessarily a big, scary deal. Your agent will help advise you about repairs you need to make before the inspection. In fact, she may have made those recommendations to you even before you put the home on the market. And if you’ve been maintaining your home all along (and you have, right?), your punch list may be minimal.

In addition, back when you put the home on the market, you were required to disclose to buyers the home’s “material defects” — anything you know about the home that can either have a significant impact on the market value of the property or impair the safety of the house for occupants. Material defects tend to be big underlying problems, like foundation cracks, roof leaks, basement flooding, or termite infestation.

What a Home Inspection Covers Depends on the Home

Every home is different, so which items are checked during your property’s inspection may vary. But home inspectors typically look at the following areas during a basic inspection:

  • Plumbing systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
  • Doors and windows
  • Attic insulation
  • Foundation and basement
  • Exterior (e.g., siding, paint, outdoor light fixtures)
  • Grounds

Depending on the sales contract, the purchase may also be contingent on a roof inspection, radon inspection, or termite inspection.

What a home inspection won’t cover is the unseen. Your inspector isn’t going to rip open walls or mountaineer on the roof. (Though that would be kind of exciting to watch.)

So What Do You Need to Fix?

A home inspection report is by no means a to-do list of things that you must address. Many home repairs, including cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear, are negotiable.

There are, however, three occasionally overlapping types of repairs that sellers are typically required to deal with after a home inspection:

  1. Structural defects. This is any physical damage to the load-bearing elements of a home; these issues include a crack in the foundation, roof framing damage, and decaying floor boards.
  2. Safety issues. Homes for sale have to meet certain safety standards. Depending on where you live, safety issues that you, the seller, may have to address could include mold problems, wildlife infestation, or exposed electrical wiring.
  3. Building code violations. Building code violations — such as the absence of smoke detectors, use of non-flame retardant roofing material, and use of lead paint after 1978 — must be addressed by the seller.

Again, addressing these might take the form of a credit on the pirce, which in the case of structural issues could be sizeable.

Use This Checklist to Prepare for a Home Inspection

So, are you ready for the inspection? If you take these steps (with your agent’s assistance) you will be:

  • Assemble your paperwork. Transparency is key. Ideally, you’ll have summaries or invoices of renovations, maintenance, and repairs you’ve done on your home that you can provide to the home buyer. Create a file that collects this documentation and share it with the buyer.
  • Make sure your home is squeaky clean. Your home should be pristine when the inspector arrives — a good first impression will set a positive tone. Take time to declutter and deep clean the whole house. A deep clean (stuff like cleaning the range hood and upholstery and sanitizing garbage cans), averages between $200 and $400, according to Angie’s List, depending on the size and condition of your home.
  • Remove any obstacles that may block. Take measures to ensure the inspector has complete access to all facets of the property, including electrical panels, attic space, and fireplaces. This may require temporarily moving clothing and other items that impede access.
  • Leave the utilities on. For the home inspector to test items such as the stove, dishwasher, furnace, and air conditioning system, the utilities must be connected regardless of whether the house is vacant; otherwise, the inspector may need to reschedule, which can potentially push back closing.
  • Fix minor problems ahead of time. Many cosmetic issues — say, a broken light fixture or a scratch on the wall — are minor and easy to fix, but they can make buyers more concerned about how well you’ve maintained other areas of the home. It’s best to take care of small problems yourself before the buyer’s inspection.

It’s a Good Idea to Do Your Own Inspection Before the Inspection

Some sellers choose to hire their own home inspector to check the property before their house is even listed. This is called a “pre-listing inspection,” and it has several advantages:

  • It can give you time to fix deal breakers. Granted, a pre-inspection costs money — a basic inspection is about $315, with condos and homes under 1,000 sq ft. costing as little as $200 and homes over 2,000 sq ft. running $400 or more, according to HomeAdvisor.com. That said, it can enable you to address major issues that could cause a buyer to pull out of their offer. Big problems may include mold, water damage, or foundation cracks.
  • It can mean fewer surprises — and help you market your home. Knowing what needs to be fixed in your home in advance will enable you to be upfront with buyers about any big pre-existing issues, which can give buyers peace of mind. You can also make it known to prospective buyers that consideration for those items has already been factored into the sales price.
  • It can speed up the negotiation process. Having a pre-listing inspection can help reduce, or even eliminate the time-consuming process of having back-and-forth negotiations.

If you discover any material defects to the property in a pre-listing inspection, you are legally required to disclose them to buyers — even if you fix them. Also there’s no guarantee that the buyer’s own inspection won’t reveal things yours didn’t find. The choice to do a pre-listing inspection is yours, but it never hurts to get a head start on repairs.

Be Aware of These Tried-and-True Tactics for Negotiating Repairs

When it comes to repairs, your agent will haggle with the buyer’s agent for you — though it’s ultimately your decision as to how you want to respond to the buyer’s home repair requests.

Here are four time-tested negotiating techniques that your agent may deploy to protect your best interests — without reducing the sales price:

  1. Agree to make reasonable repairs. Unless your house is flawless — and the reality is that no one’s is — be prepared to receive repair requests from the buyer. You don’t have to offer to fix everything that buyer asks of you, but you should take responsibility for major issues.
  2. Offer a closing cost credit. Don’t want to deal with the hassle of making or ordering home repairs yourself? Ask your agent to offer the buyer a credit at closing for the estimated costs. This can also help you avoid complaints from the buyer over the quality of the workmanship, since you won’t be the one overseeing the repairs.
  3. Barter. One way to smooth things over with a buyer and keep the deal moving forward is to offer something of value that’s unrelated to the requested repairs. For example, if you know the buyer loves the new couch or bedroom set you bought, you could offer to leave it behind in exchange for making fewer repairs.
  4. Leverage the market. You may have more negotiating power depending on where you live. In a hot seller’s market, for instance, you might be in the position to offer the buyer fewer repairs, especially if you have another buyer eager to make an offer.

Home inspection may sound like a burdensome process, especially when you’re so close to your goal. But when you cross it off your list, you’re readier than ever to jump to the next level — and into your life’s newest phase.

Until next time….