Do I Have to Fix That?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Sonoran Living SA572600000

Do I Have to Fix That?  is a question we Realtors get asked often.

In Arizona when you sell your home you are promising the buyer that will make sure certain items are working at the close of escrow unless you are selling your property in “as is” condition. 

One suggestion before you List Your Property to Sell, have an inspection. This way you can have warrantable items repaired or replaced by yourself or a handyman when possible. If you are under contract and the buyer finds warrantable items that need to be replaced or repaired, good chance the buyer’s agent will ask for a licensed contractor of the trade to make the repairs. We usually do.

What constitutes a “warrantable” item? Page 5 of the State of Arizona purchase contract gives the legal definition.  Do I have to Fix That?  check this out....


Sellers- Do I Have to Fix that?



Enjoy this poem written by John Dyer/John Dyer School of Real Estate 

If it flushes or flows Switches or glows Has moving parts or Should open or close It has to be working, make sure everyone knows.

Translated it means heating/cooling systems (moving parts/flows), windows and doors (opens or closes), plumbing (flushes or flows) and electrical (switches or glows) must be in operational condition by three days prior to close of escrow unless waived through the Purchase Contract in a form of an as-is addendum. This does not mean that if you don’t like the way the light switch looks the seller must fix it. It needs to be operational and working not looks pretty.

Because a Roof doesn’t flush or flow, open or close it is not a warranted item. That doesn’t mean you cannot ask for it to be repaired or fixed if damage is found in the inspection! Anything that could be deemed a health or safety issue should be repaired by the Seller. (An example would be a non-GFI Outlet where there should be one or a broken pool fence).

Just a few years back there were a number of properties being sold as a short sale or by the bank. During that time we saw a lot of “AS IS Addendums because the banks were not about to make any repairs they didn’t have to. Thank goodness for lenders. We were able to “force” the banks to fix some warrantable items because the lenders would not loan on that property if they were not fixed.

There are other times when a seller may use the “as is” in the listing. If they are including a hot tub or personal property like washer and dryer they may include those as is with no warranties provided. The Buyer understands that the Seller does not intend to make any repairs and, by signing the Addendum, is agreeing to those terms.

Buyers, please be advised even though a listing says as is, get an inspection! You would not purchase a vehicle without having a mechanic check under the hood would you? In fact that would be the prudent thing to do. If too many costly items are found during an Inspection, especially those classified as “warranted,” it is possible that the Buyer might back out of the sale. Even though the seller said he’s selling the property “as is”.

Everything is negotiable.

It is important to know where you stand and the cost of those repairs.

Sometimes a Seller will offer a Home Warranty to a buyer at the close of escrow. I always offer a Free Home Warranty to all Military Personnel as my way of saying thank you for serving with a successful close of escrow through me.

Reminder- The seller before the property closes needs to remove all those items (person property) that are not being included in the transaction with the buyer.

If you have any questions about purchasing or selling a property in the Phoenix area, give me a call.  You can reach me at or or by calling me at 602-799-5239.  Not in the Phoenix area, call me and I'll find you an agent to help you in your area.


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Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Debbie Nieman

That is a good thing. I wish more clients would ask me that question

Oct 30, 2014 11:47 AM #1
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Debbie Nieman

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