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How to Ask the Listing Agent for Repairs Without Sounding Like a Jerk

Posted by Kristina Brunnler

May 24, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Let’s face it, 2017 is a sellers market and there’s not a lot of bargaining room to ask for major repairs. Many buyers agents are being pressured into skimping out on their client’s repair requests, for fear of losing out on a sale. However, the buyer's agent duty is to negotiate in their client’s favor, while remaining professional. Home buyers are also more likely to experience buyer’s remorse when their new home requires a face lift. Use these negotiation tactics below to remain competitive in this year's seller's market while fighting for your client's best interests. 


Keep these 5 tactics in mind when negotiating home repairs with sellers & their listing agent:


Don't Mention Your Client's Small Requests

Some repairs may be so minuscule, that it’s best to not request them. Cosmetic repairs such as a change of room colors or certain landscaping designs can easily be changed. Other experts recommend not asking for any repairs under 100 dollars, as this can come off as petty. Furthermore, many home defects are not serious to the value of the home, such as cracks in basement floors, which cost far more to repair than any damage they’d ever cause. 

Keep in Mind Which Repairs are Absolutely Necessary

Some home defects seriously threaten a home’s value. Leaking roofs, damaged heating/cooling systems, and unstable decks are all examples of defects that lower a home's value by thousands of dollars. Other dangerous repairs, such as termites, black mold, lead paint, and asbestos are 100% not negotiable. A listing agent or seller who refuses to make these repairs does not deserve your client's sale. Explain in a cordial tone why these repairs are absolutely necessary. 

Be Flexible

If the seller or listing agent refuses to agree to your repairs, don’t give up. The seller may simply be on a time constraint or would not like to be hassled with repairs. Consider requesting a reimbursement for your client. Also consider raising the sale price if the buyer will agree to make the requested repairs. 

Keep Your Client's Renovation Plans Private

When the seller or listing agent knows of your client’s renovation budget, they may be less willing to complete repairs. During a home inspection, the inspector will be watching your client’s reaction to suggested repairs and may relay this information to the listing agent. Prepare your client for the walk through of the home, by suggesting they conceal any proposed projects.

Remain Unbiased

When presenting your clients repair requests, don’t speak in a tone as to indicate your own bias towards your client. Bring up specific examples from your work history or market analysis to explain why the repairs should be included. Be sure to make logical points as to why each repair is justified.

Would you rather be working with seller leads in 2017? You’re not alone. That’s why Zurple created a lead generation program specifically for seller leads. We use geo-targeted social media and search engine marketing services to generate seller leads in your area. In other words, we purchase limited ad space for keywords qualified seller leads are searching with, such as "Homes for Sale in ___" and "Average Home Prices in ____." Upon lead capture, our Conversations software sends personalized emails and text messages to seller leads, referencing specific neighborhoods and previous homes sold.


Zurple can save you time prospecting seller leads online:

Learn More About  Zurple's Seller Leads Program

Topics: Practical Advice, Buyer & Seller Insights

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