In part 1 I mentioned how the seller can slightly increase the option period fee to protect themselves from a buyer backing out of the deal. In this article, I’m going to talk about what else you can do as the seller to protect yourself during the buyer’s option period.

Have your home inspected before you list it. Having a general inspection done on a home will run you anywhere from $350 to $450 and up, depending on the inspector and size of the house.If you have a home that’s a little older and you aren’t sure what may or may not be wrong with some major items, you should think about paying an inspector to investigate everything before you put it on the market.

Know what needs to be addressed. The main reason for doing this is because it’s much cheaper for you to find out about repairs and fix them before a buyer finds out. When a buyer has to try and add up costs of repairs, not only will they have to inflate the numbers to leave room for unknown factors, they’ll also be burdened with the fact that they have to immediately start doing repairs as soon as they move in. This hinders the situation because they don’t get to move in and enjoy their house right away. They have to close on the home and then start taking care of repairs. That’s going to cost you.

Buyers can also get spooked by big ticket issues like an AC that needs significant work done. Taking care of these concerns ahead of time is a great weight off of your (and their) shoulders.

When the 40 page inspection report comes back (and there’s always a 40 page report) sometimes you can get a buyer who wants to ask for every little finding to be fixed or remedied somehow. The premarket inspection relieves the number of surprises that often come up and have to be negotiated.

Keep the buyer on track with negotiating items that deal with safety, fire hazards, and big ticket items like: roof, HVAC, foundation, plumbing concerns, etc.

The age, condition of the home, the inspector and the type of buyer you have under contract will all heavily influence how your negotiating will go after the inspection. But the point is to remember that you don’t have to give the buyer everything they want just because they ask for it. Make them focus on important issues and drop the rest.

However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes you don’t give in for a small request to make them happy in order to move on with your life. Being prepared ahead of time by knowing what to expect will help you negotiate a better deal for yourself.