If you are selling your home, you may be a little nervous about the home inspection. Most buyers won’t commit to purchasing the home until they know that there aren’t any problems with the house. So, be sure to carefully read your contract to make sure you don’t get locked into repairing something you don’t want to fix. You should be fully aware of the contract obligations, especially when it concerns your responsibility for repairs. Now just about every home inspection is going to come back with a few things that need fixing, but don’t think of this as a to-do list. Repairs fall into three categories: required, not required, and ones that are up for debate. Here is our list to help you determine which is which.

Required Repairs

There are some repairs that are required or the lender will not release the funds for the buyer to purchase the house. These repairs typically include structural problems, code violations, or safety issues. If your home inspection reveals some of these problems, the first thing to do is to start getting bids from contractors to fix the problem. Once you get the quotes, you can either pay to have it fixed or give the buyers a repair credit so they can pay for the repair themselves. This is the quickest option and it alleviates you from having to oversee the repair.

Repairs That Aren’t Required

This category houses the cosmetic repairs that, normally, don’t have to be fixed. Some contracts will state that the buyer can’t require any cosmetic repairs. Meaning they can only require the seller to fix the required repairs: like structural issues, code violations, and safety problems.

Negotiable Repairs

Between the required and the not required, is a whole gray area of repairs that are up for grabs. Depending on the market you are in, the buyer or seller may have more power to call the shots. Buyers are always advised to get a home inspection on a potential home to know just what they are buying. However, when there are a limited number of homes for sale and more competition, buyers are more likely to not ask for so many repairs.

How to Negotiate Home Repairs

There are other ways to effectively handle home repairs:

• Home Warranty- By offering up something like a $500 one-year home warranty to a home buyer may put their minds at ease when there is something bothering them. Even if it’s something that doesn’t need repairs, but is worrying the buyer like an old HVAC or water heater.

• Barter for Something of Value- If the seller is interested in leaving some furniture or appliances behind, they may wait until after inspection to let the buyer know. By doing this, you may be able to take a few things off the buyer’s repair list by offering them items like the washer and dryer.