Home inspection negotiating tips when selling your lake home

So now the dreaded home inspection is over on your waterfront home in Oakland County.  It really doesn’t matter whether it is a home for sale in Milford and on a lake a home inspection and how you handle the home inspection results can make or break your home sale.  First let’s go over the psychology of the home inspection by the buyer.

Hire a qualified home inspector

First of all the buyer(s) in their mind hired a good qualified home inspector.  A person that in their mind that is trained in home inspections and knows what he is talking about.  The home inspector’s comments and finds are what the buyer relies on.  It does not matter if the home inspector is totally wrong about something he has found.  The buyer is going to believe him.  No buyer’s home inspector is ever going to be wrong.  This is going to be a big basis on how you negotiate your home inspection on your lake home.

Over the years I have confirmed many things a home inspector said were bad or wrong to be false.  For example years ago there was one home inspector in the Metro Detroit area that had this fancy gadget that measured furnace inflow and outflow.  Every time this home inspector was hired this became a problem in the home inspection.  All the deals fell apart.  There was always an argument about the furnace and whether it was the right size for the house. Always the buyers were steadfast in the conviction that the home inspector was right.  There was no way the sellers were going to put in new furnaces because some home inspector said so.


But that is what you the seller is up against.  Even providing your own expert will sometimes not change the buyers opinion.  However let’s go over a few situations.  Let’s say the home inspector says the furnace is rusted and may be leaking carbon monoxide.  The best way to negotiate this is to agree to having a licensed heating and cooling contractor come check out the furnace and have it fixed.  Agreeing to use a heating and cooling contractor that the buyer picks will really put the buyer at ease.  This way the buyer is going to agree to the repairs or they are going to bail on the home sale based on something the more specialized home inspector said.  You may have to replace the whole furnace if the secondary expert says it is needed.  However you will overcome the home inspector’s opinion and findings.  I have found a simple cleaning to put the buyer’s mind at ease.  If you want to hold the sale together another way of handling it if the buyer is still uneasy is to offer paying for a home warranty.  That way if something goes wrong with the furnace in the first year the buyer can get it fixed.

It is the same way with electrical, plumbing, and foundations issues.  Whether it is an old air conditioner, a crack in the basement wall, or outside drainage issues.  Talk to the buyer bring in a specialized repair person like a licensed electrician, foundation repair person, or roofer.   Be there when the second expert repair man comes.  Be an active part of the conversation.  Get the quote in your name.  It also pays to have a 2nd or 3rd estimate.  If possible have the buyers be there along with the seller.  That way everybody hears the same information.

Buy a home warranty to give the buyer a warm fuzzy feeling

I went through this with a lakefront home in Waterford.  The home inspector had found water seepage, and rust on metal in the crawl space indicating water intrusion in the crawl.  So I called two waterproofing companies to give an estimate and the seller hired one themselves.  We set them all up on one day.  Both the seller, the listing agent,  and I the buyer’s agent was there.  We received a wide range of estimates from $14,000 to $21,000 to $36,000 for different ways of fixing the problem.  Of course the high priced estimate tried to scare the seller of the major problem it was.

We were able to negotiate a reasonable settlement between the buyer and seller that was agreeable to both.  It saved the deal for the seller because everybody involved in met with specialized water proofing experts, understood the costs & the options.  Everybody was on the same page even though there were differences in what was the best option for the best price.  It was negotiated because there was no one party that was unreasonable.

Time to fix the roof

I had the same issue with another lake home on Mohawk Lake.  The home inspector had found roofing issues.  The buyer hired a roofer to come out. The buyer asked him to quote a 50 year roof with top of the line sheathing, and extra wide ice shield for the edges and valleys.  The estimate came to be $35,000.  The seller then got 2 other quotes of  $12,000 and $15,000.  Because the buyer was adamant of getting the top of the line roof the deal fell apart.  If both buyer and seller were there with multiple roofers it may have worked out.

So what you can take out of this article is:

  1. Home inspectors are not infallible….they make mistakes.
  2. So to debunk the mistakes hire a specialized expert or repair man to get a second opinion and repair costs
  3. Get 2 or 3 estimates because many times what the expert recommends may be different and costs vary widely many times
  4. Have both the buyer and seller there so they are on the same page.  So both parties can understand the true issue, the possible ways of repair, and the costs each company charges.  It makes it easier to carry on negotiations and a conversation when everybody is knowledgeable.

If you need a strong negotiator on your side when you sell your SE Michigan lake home give me a call.  I will work hard for you. (248) 310-6239

Russ Ravary

Your lakes area realtor!

Hire one of the top agents in the area to get top dollar for your home

Here is a link to Commerce Lake homes in Oakland County and if you do not know what a home warranty is then you can find out about it  Explanation of a home warranty – Oakland County home selling tips.  Know how to negotiate and resolve issues with your home inspection is sometimes very important to getting your home sold.

Click here to learn more about non motorized Green Lake in West Bloomfield

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