How To Negotiate A Request For Repair - after Home inspection
As you move along in a home buying process, you'll want to get a home inspection performed on the property you’re about to purchase and then submit a Request for Repair to the seller.
Do your diligence to find a qualified inspector and set up a time for them to visit the premises.
Upon completion, you’ll receive a report with the findings of the inspector, which will show the condition of the home and will include items that need attention
as well as repair recommendations.
What will you see in this report? Well, usually there are some safety items that must be corrected according to the requirements of loan underwriters
if you’re obtaining financing,
or mandated by local or state regulations.
Things like Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors must be properly installed and the Water heater needs to be strapped and blocked.
There WILL be items that don't meet today’s building codes that'll be recommended to be replaced.
ground fault circuit interrupters
are one such item.
Although they don’t meet today's building code, there may NOT be a city, county or state requirement to replace them when a home is sold.
So, check local laws in your specific area.
In some areas, there are new laws mandating low water consumption toilets and fixtures.
These will vary by municipality and may require a separate inspection and certification.
And then there may be comments on the condition of the roof, grading of the property,
floors, walls, doors and windows, basement or crawl space, and foundation.
They will also comment on the age and condition of kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures,
and maintenance items that you’ll need to deal with on a regular basis;
things like furnace filters to replace, gutters to clean and trees to keep trimmed.
So now you have looked over the inspection report and there a list of items that are noted that need attention or repair.
You and your buyer’s agent prepare a Request for Repair form and submit it to the seller.
Now, what is the seller’s responsibility to address and fix these items?
Actually...the seller has NO responsibility to do anything requested by the buyer.
Repairs do NOT have to be done by the seller.
Homes are generally sold “as-is” which means they are sold in the condition as of the day the buyer wrote a purchase agreement.
Don’t set yourself up with the false expectation that the seller is under any obligation to fix anything.
The seller’s response to your request will vary with every transaction.
They may totally
ig-NORE your request.
They may agree to fix all or some of the repairs
or they may offer a credit towards closing costs in lieu of any repairs.
If the seller will make ANY repairs, it’s best to specify that they are performed by a licensed or certified technician and receipts provided as proof of supplies used.
If the seller chooses to give compensation, then it should be in the form of a credit towards closing costs as lenders typically do not allow any cash back from seller to buyer.
Remember that as a buyer, if you’re within your inspection contingency period, you can cancel the transaction if you don’t like what you see on the inspection report.
MY recommendation is that you and your agent negotiate with the seller on the items that are really important to you
but If you can’t reach a workable compromise, it might be best to walk away.