Recently, I began reviewing the sometimes complex process of performing and utilizing home inspections as an important component of a home buying transaction.

The site offers a wealth of information regarding home inspections. In this segment, we’ll take a look at negotiating home inspection issues using the site as a guide.

According to the consumer information site, most contracts provide the opportunity to negotiate any repairs to the satisfaction of the buyers. This includes either doing some or all the repairs and/or compensating the buyers with cash.

Although a whole house inspection may turn up an expensive repair, sellers may be able to negotiate a cash settlement that is less expensive than what the repair would have cost. Offer money to the buyers so they can choose how the repair is completed. illustrates a classic example where a seller’s furnace died just prior to closing. The buyers understandably wanted a new furnace, and the cheapest one to be found was $1,900.

Without telling the buyer the amount, the agent, representing the seller, recommended that the seller offered to give the buyers $1,400, pointing out they could use this money towards installing any type of furnace they wanted.

Otherwise, the seller was obligated to just install a new one that worked. The buyers took the money and the seller saved $500.

Avoid repairing items that lend themselves to a subjective interpretation as to how well the repair was done. Say a garage roof needs some serious shingle repair and replacement.

After completion, what if the buyers don’t think the new shingles match the originals that well? Instead, says offer the buyers money so that they can repair this type of problem by themselves and you’ll save a whole lot of problems.

Money, unlike repair work, is not subject to interpretation. It sure beats sweating out the buyers’ approval, which is often done at the eleventh hour walk through.

A dollar settlement is almost always acceptable to buyers and it eliminates last minute problems.

By John Voket