Buyers and Inspections: How Much is Too Much to Ask?

By
Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

Buyers and Inspections: How Much is Too Much to Ask?

 

At time of writing the offer on a property, I discuss the inspection options with each buyer.  Depending on the age of the home, the condition of the home, and the seller property disclosure information, the buyer determines which inspections that they would like to request.  These inspections are customarily ordered and paid for by the buyer and completed within 10 business days or less of the accepted offer.  

 

In the Cedar Rapids/Marion, Iowa area, the purchase contract addresses the intent of inspections as the following:

.  

"These inspections are not to be construed as inspections to bring an older home into compliance with the current local building codes.  These inspections are only mean to discover any major structural, mechanical, safety and health related issues or defects."

 

In other words, you can ask a seller to repair a leaking roof or a water heater that does not heat water, but you cannot ask for them to replace the furnace just because it is 15 years old or to clean the gutters.  If you have concern about broken window seals, overflowing gutters, tree limbs over the house, or a leaking faucet, these items can be requested in the initial offer for the property.  The seller can respond to the request at that point, prior to acceptance.  These types of "repairs" cannot be asked of the seller as part of the inspection contingency as they do not fall into one of the categories above of "major structural, mechanical, safety and health related issues or defects."

 

older home exterior front

If there is an item of concern, such as a safety issue with a double tapped breaker, the buyer can request this repair to be completed prior to closing by a licensed electrician.  It is important to know that the repair was done correctly by a licensed contractor with a receipt to be provided.  Once a repair is requested, the seller and buyer have 3 days to negotiate the terms of the inspection remedy.  

 

The sellers may choose to do any of the following:

1.  The seller may accept and agree to complete the repairs prior to closing as requested by the buyer.

2.  The seller may obtain an estimate and offer a credit for the buyers to complete the repairs after the closing.

3.  The seller may offer to repair some of the items but not all of those requested.

4.  The seller may say no to any repair requests and choose to cancel the contract.  

 

Why might a seller deny completing any of the requested repairs?  Perhaps there is a backup offer on the property with another buyer that has similar terms or a higher price with no inspection contingencies.  Or maybe the seller cannot afford to complete the repairs as they are already required to bring money to the closing in order to sell at the agreed upon price with the buyer.

 

As your agent, I will be able to provide guidance in deciding which repairs the seller is likely to complete for any buyer.  Some repairs may be required by the appraiser in order for the buyer to obtain financing.  I will provide a list of contractors to make these required repairs if needed.  

 

The home inspection contingency is the largest hurdle in the purchase contract.  Depending on the age of the home, there may be no issues or there may be many issues that cannot be corrected.  Things like termite damage, bad wiring, foundation cracks, etc.  may be too much for a buyer to handle.  The home buyer can decide to terminate the contract and request for their earnest money deposit to be returned.  The only cost the buyer loses is the cost of the inspections, which is a small price to pay in comparison to owning a home deemed as a money pit!

 

Each home is unique.  Each buyer is unique.  Some buyers have family, friends, or they themselves that are able to make some of the repairs themselves.  Other buyers have no family close by and do not have the funds to make repairs.  Each situation is unique and the buyer makes the decision about how much to request of the seller.  

 

How much is too much?  It depends on the financial position for the seller, their motivation to sell, how long the house has been on the market, etc.  Trust that as a buyer's agent, I will provide all of the choices to you and you will make a decision that is best for you and that particular home.

 

If you are considering purchasing a home in 2016, I would love the opportunity to work with you to accomplish your goals!  Call me today to set up a free home buyer consultation, 319-521-0701.

 

Keep smiling!

 

Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by

 

Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701

www.KarenFeltman.com

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Iowa Linn County Cedar Rapids
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
1st Time Buyers
Point 2 Agent Sites
Addicted to Active Rain
Tags:
repairs
buyer representation
home inspections
home inspection

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
13,463
Kelley Ward
Chinowth and Cohen REALTORS - Owasso, OK
Real Estate Professional serving Owasso and More!

Interesting read. Thanks for writing.

Feb 04, 2016 05:21 AM #1
Rainmaker
130,196
Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

In Texas, we have an "option" period that will allow the buyer to pay the seller an "option fee" for a specified amount of time to get inspections completed.  If during that time frame an inspection comes back and the buyer decides that there are numerous items that need to be repaired, the buyer and seller can amend the contract to reflect what they have agreed to fix.  If the buyer and seller cannot agree to what will or will not be repaired, the buyer has the option to "terminate" the contract and get his/her earnest money back.  But, it has to be during this Option time.  

Feb 04, 2016 05:29 AM #2
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Carolyn Shipp Our inspection period happens in the same way.  The buyer pays their earnest money at the point of the accepted contract.  The buyers then have 10 days to perform their requested inspections.  Once the inspection remedy is provided to the seller, there is a 3 day settlement period to determine how repairs will be handled.  Thank you for reading.

Feb 04, 2016 05:58 AM #3
Rainmaker
3,164,678
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Karen Feltman.  I always say it is like a tennis match on what to ask for and the options that buyers and sellers have.  Hape a great day!

Feb 04, 2016 06:08 AM #4
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Will Hamm Agreed.  The sellers and buyers have several options to go back and forth on inspection issues.  Thank you for reading!

Feb 04, 2016 06:19 AM #5
Rainmaker
140,218
Joan Dickie
Keller Williams Premier Realty - La Crosse, WI
Keller Williams Premier Realty

I love it Karen Feltman that you are so up front with your buyers too.  They need to know what they can legally ask for and what they cannot.  I think it is a relief for sellers to know they won't have to repair every little thing and the buyers can't back out due to a cracked light switch plate.

Feb 04, 2016 06:27 AM #6
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Joan Dickie I agree.  I have encountered many buyers of my listings that ask for all kinds of things that are not allowable per the contract.  In addition to the contract itself, I require the sellers and buyers to sign an additional addendum to stop these types of requests.  It actually spells out examples of items that cannot be asked for upon inspection.  To my buyers, I tell them that these items fall into the category of "welcome to home ownership".  :)  Thank you for reading and commenting.

Feb 04, 2016 06:50 AM #7
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
528,731

Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information