Much of what I advise home buyers depends on the price and terms under which they purchased a home. Not every aspect of real estate has a cookie-cutter answer. If you're buying an REO, for example, only an extreme health and safety code violation will generally persuade a lender to agree to a Request for Repair and, even then, odds are the answer might be "no."
If you're buying a home way under market value, again, a seller might say "no."
If you're buying a short sale home, the answer is almost invariably "no."
But if you're buying a home from an individual seller who is not in foreclosure nor a short sale situation, the answer should be yes, depending on the repairs requested. Most of the time, a buyer is better off asking for a cash credit toward closing costs than letting sellers perform repairs. The seller has no vested interest in the property at that point.
But where do you draw the line? Submitting a laundry list covering every fix-or-repair item on a home inspection is ridiculous. Homes aren't in perfect condition, even new homes, and nobody in her or his right mind should expect them to be.
On the other hand, I had buyers who beat out 20-some offers for a home by paying a mere $1,000 extra, and they got a $5,000 credit toward closing costs for minor items. It's all in the negotiation.
Photo: Calyn Wright, used with permission