Think outside the box with repair request

Real Estate Agent with Found It, LLC Broker/Realtor DC,MD/VA

Home Inspection addendums are not always about repair request.  Some times it may be a call to get creative.  In lieu of repairs you may want to:

Ask for a price reduction                                                              

Ask for a sellers credit towards closing cost (if your loan will allow it)

Ask for furniture

Ask for the sellers car

Ask for the sellers pet

Ok now I am being silly but you get the idea....... The bottom line is to think outside the box.  sometimes there is not enough time for a repair before closing.  Sometimes you do not trust the seller to correctly fix an item.   It is times like these where thinking out side the box comes in handy.........

This can also be beneficial to a seller who is strapped for cash and does not have the money to make repairs or give credits. Find another item to negotiate thaat the buyer may benefit from.

However buyers, if you for-go a repair remember to address the item as soon as you can after closing especially if it is an item an inspector marked urgent for needing repair.

In the end be sure to go over the report carefully with the inspector so you can understand if there is any potential hazards.

Posted by

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Deandrea "Dee Dee" Jones                                                          

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Comments (26)

Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Dee Dee-Finding solutions that work for both parties is the best way to keep things on track. You can never have too many creative solutions.

Apr 21, 2012 02:16 PM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
I like to do the home inspections up front when I do the listing so there are no last minute surprises.
Apr 21, 2012 08:28 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Love, love your graphic. . now that is thinking outside the box!

There is a potential mine bomb waiting to explode when you are getting personal materials in a deal. .unless it is offered. .the party asking for it could be construed as someone that is taking advantage of the other. .and any future negotiations would be much harder. .I would stay away from that 


Apr 21, 2012 08:47 PM
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Dee Dee, excellent post and I so much appreciate your humor. By the way, you have done so well with the referrals I've sent you. I believe we are batting two for two. I will continue to use you in the Hampton Road area with any referrals that come my way. 

Apr 21, 2012 09:25 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi DeAndrea,

Outside the box is right.

Yesterday we looked at a short sale that had sold three times but never closed. It badly needs a $12000 roof. My first time buyers are going to make an offer...


Apr 21, 2012 10:10 PM
Doris Freeman
Zach Taylor Real Estate - Gallatin, TN
Broker/Agent, 615-961-7799

Some great ideas we just have to be careful an walk that fine line so as not to put a halt to negoiations

Have A Great Day

Apr 21, 2012 10:20 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Dee Dee - These are great suggestions for helping to solve a problem that could become truly problematic.

Apr 21, 2012 10:55 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Ha!!  That's funny.  Thanks for the laugh this morning.  :)                                                                             

Apr 21, 2012 11:03 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Dee Dee, sometimes these negotiation tactics work and will result in a successful closing. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Apr 21, 2012 11:35 PM
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

I like the comment made by #1, yes be creative if it can help, but if the situation is serious I would vote for putting funds into escrow, and letting the buyers get the repairs done, with all sort of documents signed that buyers and sellers agree to this arrangement.

Apr 21, 2012 11:36 PM
Jon Rudolph
Inspections By Referral - Loveland, CO


Dee Dee, Great discussion point!  

As a home inspector, one of the biggest hang-ups I see in the inspection phase of the transaction is the lack of preparedness on both sides.  Whereas, the buyer or seller have expectations that don't fit the situation and then, wham one party or both are facing an unexpected surprise.  You're correct; and then an out-of-box solution may be required.

I think a lot more could be done up front to prepare the buyer(s) or seller(s), thereby setting proper expectations and avoid being faced with out-of-box solution(s) as well as simply help reduce the stress on all parties.

A qualified (legitimate, non-rubber stamp type) pre-sale inspection can help.  The other is for the buyer and seller to be prepared that new carpet, paint, cabinet doors and/or well-maintained home does not guarantee it’s defect free or not harboring an underlying condition that may be a hazard or costly down the road.

Anyhow, I find a little upfront preparedness in setting realistic expectations (and emotions) goes a long way to avoid panicked last minute creative “pacifying” solutions.


Apr 22, 2012 12:37 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When someone is being themselves...everyone benefits. Good example of your skills at work...Bravo

Apr 22, 2012 01:03 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

I've heard that often the buyer asks for a 4k reduction in price for every thousand of repairs needed. I agree with the idea of sellers inspection. I do like the idea of asking for the sellers pet. Nothing beats a good dog.

Apr 22, 2012 02:39 AM
Marie Story
Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami) - Pinecrest, FL
Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist

DeeDee I like giving the Buyers credit for the repairs; that way they get done with whom they like and how they want them done - everyone happy.

Apr 22, 2012 03:30 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It's good think think outside the box, but sometimes in making changes to the original purchase contract the lender may want to know why the price is reduced, or if there is a seller credit in lieu of repairs, underwtiting might want to know why and what's going on. 

Apr 22, 2012 03:35 AM
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead

In my opinion, this is handled wrong in 99% of home sales. Unless we're dealing with a large repair item that could potentially be far more costly than it appears, or lender-requred repairs, the buyer should always just get a credit from the seller and handle the repairs him/herself after closing. That way, they have control over who does the work, how well it's done, and they have some leverage over the contractor if the work's not done to their satisfaction. If they allow the seller to deal with it, they're asking some who's got one foot out the door to handle it, and the contractor has no obligation to help them after closing because the buyer wasn't their client.

I bought a house about 15 years ago and allowed the seller to make the repairs prior to closing. Everything looked good at the final walkthrough and I closed, but figured out later that he was a corner-cutter. He had rigged every repair that he made and had apparently been doing the same with the house for the previous 10 years. It cost me far more to re-do all of the repairs he'd made than it would have for me to just take a seller-credit and get them done right the first time. 

Apr 22, 2012 03:47 AM
Teresa Tedder
Carolina Realty of Wilkes Inc - Wilkesboro, NC

Dee Dee, I hear ya.  You arent saying do it all the time, you are saying there are times that if you dont come up with something creative, you are going to send the transaction SOUTH!!  I think this is a great idea, and while I probably wont do it a lot (because of lenders or safety issues), there are times when that may be just what the doctor ordered!

Apr 22, 2012 04:30 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Not that anyones going to read this but to comment on #22, apparently you didn't have a buyer's agent or weren't an agent yourself at that time.  Had you been, or had an agent, the stipulation should have been that repairs be made by a licensed bonded contractor, receipts/invoices are left for the buyer and any warranty/guarantees are transferred to the new owner.  Tsk, tsk

Apr 22, 2012 09:54 AM
Kevin A. Guttman-Author, ReverseMortgageSpecialist
NMLS #384936 - Colorado Springs, CO

We used to live in Va Beach when I was in graduate school.

What a lovely place to live!

have a great day!


Apr 23, 2012 02:47 AM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

Thank you for sharing your blog; we need Real estate Professionals to share their comments and information regarding their markets and experiences. Thanks again from beautiful Sunny San Diego

I like the dog! lol

Aug 05, 2012 01:08 AM