What You Can Negotiate When Buying a Home

Buying a home is a significant investment, and the home’s price is probably the most obvious opportunity for negotiation. But that’s not all! Here are some additional items that are negotiable during the home buying process. 


Conducting a home inspection is an essential part of the home buying process. While some buyers may be tempted to skip it to appeal to sellers (this is especially true in a hot market), this can be a very risky decision. Home inspections can uncover all kinds of unknown repairs that are needed, and you can absolutely use these findings to bargain with the sellers. Go over your home inspection report in detail, and if there are repairs that are needed, you can ask the sellers to make them as a condition of the sale. We also recommend negotiating additional inspections including sewer line and chimney, and we’ve even started adding foundation inspections. 


California law does not oblige a home seller to provide a termite inspection report to potential buyers before the sale of a property. If you are buying a house that is located in an area that is susceptible to termite infestation, negotiate a solution with the seller at the outset of the buying process.

Closing Timeline

Timelines are a critical part of the home buying process, and this includes when the home officially closes escrow and changes hands. If you’re flexible with your buying timeline, this could be attractive to sellers who either need to sell quickly or those who might need a little more time. This is a great place to give a little when you can because it can get you in the seller’s good graces with other things you’re asking for or help you stand out as the most attractive potential buyer. 

Closing Costs

Closing costs are fees that generally cost between 2-7% of the home’s purchase price. When you consider how much money is required for a down payment, closing costs can be burdensome for buyers. A negotiating tactic that may be useful is asking for assistance from the sellers with closing costs versus trying to get the list price down. This can be a win-win for both buyers and sellers because less cash is needed to close the transaction, but the seller can have better peace of mind that you’re a buyer who can close.

Home Warranty

Home warranties can be beneficial after you purchase a home. If the dishwasher breaks, the HVAC system malfunctions, or electrical systems go awry, a home warranty can cover these repair or replacement costs. Consider asking the seller to cover the cost of a home warranty as part of the sale.

Other Contingencies

It’s likely that several standard contingencies are already included in the purchase contract. There are a few others that you might want to consider negotiating such as the amount of time to review reports and disclosures, deadlines, title contingency and more! 

Are you considering buying or selling in the Pasadena area? I’m a local real estate agent with decades of experience in the local market, and I would love to discuss your unique objectives. I have helped countless buyers and sellers, so give me a call if you would like to chat!