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How to Re-Negotiate Your Offer after a Bad Property Inspection in Dubai – 4 Tips

property inspection dubai

Congratulations! Seller has accepted your offer. Now, let’s tackle a big question: Should you pay for a property inspection in Dubai when buying a home? Is it really worth the cost?

When chatting to property agents, we are told properties in Dubai are typically ‘sold as seen’. But when we speak with homeowners, property snagging before investing is often highly recommended.

While some may question the necessity of this expense, the decision to pay for a property inspection before buying a home can have significant implications for buyers.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some basis of property snagging and equip you with 4 key tips in re-negotiating effectively after a property inspection.

What is a Property Inspection?

Property inspection, aka snagging, is a technical assessment of the property.

It is like giving the property a thorough check-up, but it’s not about the aesthetic defects – it’s about function.

It assesses the property to see if there are any faulty fixtures, molds, water leakage, all the way to any structural defects. 

In technical terms, the inspection focuses on the MEP, HVAC, Civil, and structure to ensure the property is in essence not ‘a lemon’.

There are 2 types of property inspection in Dubai:

1.  New Off-Plan Handover Inspection – This is a full inspection that includes cosmetic checks.

2. Resale Inspection – This is an MEP inspection when buyer wishes to focus only on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing issues, and excludes the cosmetic checks (perhaps with plans of renovation).

How Much is a Property Inspection in Dubai?

Typically, snagging companies in Dubai charge around AED 1 per sq ft of Built Up Area + VAT.

You can find cost breakdown and ratings on Best Inspection Companies in Dubai.

When Should a Property Inspection be Done?

Normally, inspection happens after the buyer makes an offer and there is an agreement between buyer and seller.

What is the Purpose of Property Inspection?

The snagging survey is an unbiased way to know exactly what you are paying for.

It can reveal issues that you may want to walk away from, or give you the peace of mind of knowing that the property is in good shape.

“Let’s say… when you have a tour of a new apartment, you can’t see what’s on the ceiling plenum. It looks great but some areas of the MEP above ceiling are very untidy and can cause problems in the future, dirty filter, exposed wires, etc. Some typical issues are hollow tiles, which may break, some leaking under the sink, low pressure for faucets, and many more.

One property I checked, the water heater tank was inside the laundry area, the space left cannot even fit a standard size washing machine.

There was one where the laundry area has no water supply to mention a few.”

Home Inspector in Dubai (on Reddit)

Here is another comment from Reddit after doing a home inspection in Dubai:

“I pay about 1500 for a pre purchase inspection completed by a technical inspector. They check mechanical, electrical, plumbing and build quality, insulation airflow, AC etc.

They’ve told me that certain properties are ok and others have x amount to be rectified.

These are the conversations I’ve had with my guy:

Marco: do you see that part of the ceiling

Me: yeah

Marco: see anything wrong with it?

Me: no. It’s perfect.

Marco: exactly, behind there is the water shut off valve. When you have a flood, no one know it’s there behind the ceiling so you get a worse flood while you look for it and you have to break the ceiling in many places (or at least one) to get to it. The developer has to put in an access panel.

Marco: you see that access panel to the ceiling?

Me: yes.

Marco: what do you notice about it?

Me: it’s an access panel?!

Marco: it’s big enough to get a AC filter through, but too small to take the water heater through. When it leaks/needs replacing (which I’ve experienced happens about every 5-7 years) you’re going to need to break the entire ceiling to replace it, increasing your cost.

The above were when I was getting properties from the developer but some ready properties were far worse. Things I wouldn’t have noticed. Like the windows were slightly too small for the frames so hot moist air got inside and lead to damp condensation and massive AC bills. Tiles that were bowed and would all come off the walls soon.

In short, you get your car tested by a mechanic. This is a much bigger purchase, you need to get it inspected.”

– Homebuyer on Reddit

4 Key Tips in Re-Negotiation After a Property Inspection

So, can you get a property cheaper after a bad home inspection?

In Dubai, there is no law that says an inspection is mandatory or that the result must be taken into consideration. A buyer can have an inspection but the seller doesn’t have to enter a negotiation based on that.

Re-negotiating after snagging is all about finding that sweet spot where both buyer and selling feel like they’re getting a fair deal. 

Here are 4 key tips to help you navigate this process like a pro:

1. Add a Clause in the MOU

To protect you as the buyer, you can request to add a clause in the MOU stating that any major issues found allow for renegotiation (i.e. seller pay for the repairs or reduce the offer price) or termination of the contract. 

If the seller wishes not to renegotiate based on the inspection, you can at least have the peace of mind that you can walk away from the deal.

2. Focus on the Big Stuff & Prioritize

When it comes to repairs, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Certain structural issues, like faulty wiring or leaky roofs, should be prioritized over cosmetic things like chipped paint. These are the things that can really impact the value and safety of the property, so make sure they’re at the top of your negotiation list.

3. Figure out Repair Costs

It is helpful to make a list of things you consider dealbreakers and another list of things that you would like to have someone look at, but for the time being, you can live with or fix yourself. 

For example, you can list them into 3 groups: safety, repair, or monitor. This can help you know how severe each issue is.

To prepare for your renegotiation, get a few quotes from contractors for similar fixes to show the seller that you are being fair.

4. Come Prepared and be Flexible

Stay reasonable and flexible when renegotiating with the seller.

While it’s important to get your points across, remember the seller can also walk away from making a final offer.

Be open to finding solutions that work for both you and the seller, even if it means making some compromises along the way.

Next: Best Snagging Companies in Dubai (Rank and Fee Breakdown)

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