Can You Negotiate Price After a Building Inspection?

You’ve just had your building and pest inspection done on the property you want to buy. But after poring through the report, you find a few issues that need fixing. Maybe it’s termites, asbestos, rising damp, structural defects, or electrical faults. Whatever the problems are, you know they’ll cost you money to repair.

So what do you do now? Renegotiate the price, right? While that seems fair, it’s not always that simple. Whether the vendor will budge on price depends on different factors. And there are proper processes to follow too. Before you pick up the phone to haggle over the price, read on. We’ll walk you through what happens after the building and pest inspection and when you can – and can’t – negotiate the price.

Can You Negotiate the Price After the Inspection Report?

Yes, you have the opportunity to negotiate.

After the inspection report has been completed, you’ll have a clear picture of any issues that need addressing. Now is the time to negotiate with the seller to reduce the asking price to account for necessary repairs or maintenance. You’re in a good position to ask for a fair price deduction based on the inspector’s findings.

Discuss the issues itemised in the report with the seller.

Go through the specifics outlined in the professional’s report. Explain what needs to be fixed or replaced and provide quotes for the work. Be reasonable in your requests and approach the seller with facts. Rather than demanding an arbitrary amount knocked off, calculate a deduction that is in line with the costs to remedy issues. The seller may be unaware of some problems and appreciate you bringing report details to their attention.

Get a second opinion for expensive repairs.

For any major structural or foundational problems, it is worthwhile obtaining additional quotes from licenced tradespeople. This strengthens your position when negotiating the asking price. Be wary of reports that demand expensive ‘repairs’ to what may be minor cosmetic flaws with no bearing on the property’s function or safety. Additional opinions help determine legitimate concerns versus unrealistic demands.

Be willing to compromise.

While you want to secure a fair price, avoid being unreasonable in your expectations of the seller. They may decline to budge on their asking price if meet aggressive demands. Have a maximum reduction in mind you would be happy with, but be willing to compromise to make the deal work for both parties. With open communication and good faith, there is an opportunity to find common ground.

Consider other options if no agreement can be reached.

If after presenting the inspection report the seller is unwilling to negotiate in a meaningful way, you may need to walk away from the deal. While disappointing, it may be the only option if their expectations remain unrealistic. There are more properties on the market, so remain optimistic you can find another suitable home open to good-faith negotiation.

How to Negotiate the Price Down Based on Inspection Findings

So the building and pest inspection is done, and the report is in – hopefully without too many nasty surprises! Now is the time to sit down with the seller and negotiate the best price based on what the inspection revealed. Here are some tips for navigating this important conversation:

Focus on Major Issues

Don’t nitpick over every little thing. Focus on negotiating the price down for significant problems like structural damage, water damage, electrical issues or pest infestations. These types of major defects can be expensive to repair, so you’ll want that reflected in the sale price.

Provide Repair Estimates

Get written repair estimates for any major issues from licenced contractors. This gives you tangible evidence to show the seller the types of costs you’re facing to fix their property. They may be more willing to come down on price when they see estimates in black and white.

Be Reasonable in Your Requests

Asking for too much of a price reduction could cause negotiations to break down completely. Do some research on the costs of repairs and use that to determine a reasonable figure. A good rule of thumb is to ask for at least double the estimated repair costs. But don’t go overboard – aim for a compromise that you’re both happy with.

Consider Other Options

If the seller is unwilling to budge much on price, you’ll need to determine whether the property is still worth purchasing. You might ask if they’d be willing to handle some repairs themselves before the sale. You could also revisit your own budget to see if you can afford to take on more costs. As a last resort, you may need to walk away from the deal altogether.

The key is to approach the negotiation in good faith, focus on the facts, and try to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. With some patience and compromise, you can get a fair price on a property – even after the building and pest inspection.

When Does a Building and Pest Inspection?

A building and pest inspection typically happens after you’ve made an offer on a property that the seller has accepted. At this point, you’ll want to thoroughly check the structural integrity and pest control situation before the deal is finalised. Think of this inspection as your chance to make sure there are no nasty surprises waiting for you after settlement!

Do Your Due Diligence

Once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some due diligence. Hire a professional building and pest inspector to evaluate the property. They will test and examine all accessible areas of the house and yard to determine any structural damage, necessary repairs, or pest issues. Be sure to check reviews and credentials to find an inspector you trust.

Negotiate from an Informed Position

Armed with the inspector’s report, you’ll be in an informed position to negotiate. If any serious issues were identified, like termite damage or structural problems, you can request the seller lower the price to account for the repair costs. You can also ask the seller to remedy issues prior to settlement or provide a special warranty. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.

Peace of Mind or Decision to Withdraw

Hopefully, the report will come back clean or with only minor issues, in which case you can proceed to settlement with peace of mind. However, if the issues appear too costly or time-consuming to remedy, you are within your rights to withdraw your offer. It’s better to lose your deposit than end up with a money pit!

A building and pest inspection is a key step in the home-buying process. While it may require an upfront cost, it can save you from financial and emotional distress down the road. Approach your inspection with an open and discerning mindset. If done properly, it will give you the confidence to close on your new home sweet home!


You’ve got the power now the inspection reports are in your hands. Don’t be shy in asking for a discount if issues are found. Sellers expect it. Just make sure your requests are reasonable and back them up with evidence from the reports. Negotiate politely and see if you can meet in the middle if the seller won’t accept your initial offer. And remember – you don’t have to accept a property if the price isn’t right for you after negotiations. There are always other options out there. So take the time to consider all your choices if talks reach a stalemate. The ball’s in your court. Play your cards right and you could secure yourself a great price on your dream home.



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